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Giant Telescopes of Tomorrow

  • By Peter Tyson
  • Posted 03.01.10
  • NOVA

In the 20th century, telescopes advanced greatly in size, and their discoveries kept pace. But to address some of the most pressing cosmological questions today—what are dark matter and dark energy? is there life elsewhere?—space scientists agree that we need much bigger and much better eyes on the sky. In this slide show, see some of the giant optical and radio telescopes now under development.

Launch Interactive Printable Version

Immense optical and radio telescopes now in the works promise to make astonishing discoveries about the cosmos.

Editor's note: This feature only touches on each of these telescopes; for more information, see the individual project websites. Note also that due to funding snags and other issues, some of these instruments may fall by the wayside or be replaced by others, including some that may already be in the planning stages but are not included here.

Credits

Images

(James Webb Space Telescope)
Courtesy NASA
(Giant Magellan Telescope)
Courtesy GMT
(Thirty Meter Telescope)
Courtesy TMT Observatory Corporation
(European Extremely Large Telescope)
Courtesy ESO
(Large Synoptic Survey Telescope)
LSST Corporation
(Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array)
Courtesy ALMA
(Low Frequency Array)
Courtesy ASTRON
(Square Kilometer Array)
Courtesy Swinburne Astronomy Productions and SKA

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