European astronomers ready to take the lead in space research
European astronomers are one step closer to revolutionising astronomy and space research following the recent decision to move ahead with the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). The European Southern Observatory (ESO), a European intergovernmental organisation for astronomical research, recently approved a three-year, €57 million study that will lay the groundwork for the world's largest optical/infrared telescope.
“The E-ELT is critical to allow the next big advance in
understanding our mysterious Universe. We will search for planets
similar to the Earth around other stars, discover the nature
of matter by mapping the distribution and properties of the
dark matter, which is the matter of which Nature is made, not
the rather unimportant amount of stuff of which we are made,
and investigate the future of the Universe - is time infinite?
- by examining the Dark energy which seems to control the fate
of space-time,” says Prof. Gerry Gilmore of the University
Prof Gilmore chaired the design study.
“Constructing an E-ELT is extremely challenging - as you
scale up a telescope the technical difficulties become much
more significant. Scientists and industry will both have crucial
parts to play in ensuring that the E-ELT is viable,” says