Giant Telescopes in Chile’s Atacama Desert Set to Revolutionize Astronomy

Chile’s Atacama desert is currently home to two groundbreaking telescopes that will be able to observe the optical and infrared wavelength range in unprecedented detail. These are the first of a new generation of “supertelescopes” and have astronomers around the world excited about the possibilities they bring.

The Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) is a European project that aims to build a telescope with a 39-meter mirror diameter, while the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) is a joint effort by institutes in the US, Australia, Korea, Brazil, and Israel. The ELT and GMT will be able to see further and in greater detail than any telescope before them, giving us the chance to study the universe in ways we’ve never been able to before.

In addition to the ELT and GMT, there are plans for a third supertelescope called the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) in Hawaii. However, the TMT project has faced some political and legal hurdles and construction is currently on hold.

But why are these telescopes so important? The main reason is that they will be able to collect more light than any other telescope, allowing us to see fainter objects and details that would be invisible to smaller telescopes. They will also have a higher resolution, meaning they will be able to see finer details and distinguish between objects that are close together. And because of their size, they will be able to observe a wider range of wavelengths, giving us the chance to study a wider range of phenomena and objects in the universe.

Overall, these supertelescopes represent a major step forward in our understanding of the cosmos and have the potential to unlock some of the most fundamental mysteries of the universe. We can’t wait to see what they will discover!