Giant Telescopes of Tomorrow

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Neil deGrasse Tyson and telescope dog

European Extremely Large Telescope
The E-ELT will dwarf all other optical/near infrared telescopes. Its multi-faceted mirror, 138 feet across, will have almost a thousand hexagonal segments each almost five feet wide. Like Magellan and TMT, astronomers will use it to conduct a kind of stellar archeology, analyzing the earliest galaxies, as well as to scrutinize the spectra of extrasolar planets for atmospheric conditions conducive to life. One hope is to directly measure, for the first time, the acceleration of the universe's expansion. A site will be chosen by the end of 2010.

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