News FocusAstronomy

The Colossus of Europe

Science  23 Oct 2009:
Vol. 326, Issue 5952, pp. 514
DOI: 10.1126/science.326_514

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Via your Institution

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Summary

With a 100-meter primary mirror, it would have been the big daddy of all telescopes, worthy of the label "Overwhelmingly Large" (OWL) bestowed by its architects at the European Southern Observatory (ESO). Now, astronomers joke that the acronym means "Originally Was Larger." Even so, the scaled-down successor that ESO has committed to building—the European Extremely Large Telescope—would still outsize the U.S. entries in its class, the Thirty Meter Telescope and the Giant Magellan Telescope (see main text), by a fair margin, with a primary mirror 42 meters in diameter.

Related Content