Hunting the Edge of Space
Giant Telescopes of Tomorrow
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Giant Telescopes of Tomorrow

In the 20th century, telescopes advanced greatly in size, with apertures of optical scopes expanding from just five feet to over 30, and radio dishes growing from 30 feet across to 1,000. Discoveries kept pace: We have mapped the Milky Way with its 100 billion stars, for instance, and now accept that the universe has billions of galaxies, many anchored by a supermassive black hole at the center. But to address some of the most pressing cosmological questions today—what is dark matter? 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.—Peter Tyson

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.

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