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New toy approved


Steve Ward
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One of the first tasks will be to remove the top of the mountain to make a flat base for the telescope and its housing, which will be the size of a football stadium.

The wife's right I don't have room for an Obsy :sad:

Joking aside this will be an great piece of kit

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Out of curiosity, how big would the mirror have to be to resolve the US flag, or footprints in all the photos? (If there's a formula you can use please share, I'd find it fascinating :p ).

Ginger

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I went to a public lecture given by Prof Roger Davies last week about this and other giant telescopes (http://www2.physics.ox.ac.uk/events/2012/06/06/the-inaugural-wetton-lecture-giant-telescopes-of-the-future-professor-roger-davies). The technology behind these behemoths is incredibly impressive. The mirrors just wont work without adaptive optics as the huge mirrors can't be made stiff enough not to flex under gravity as the weight would be prohibitive. All very impressive and the results will be stunning.

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I read this earlier - as much as I admire and enjoy the results one gets from IR and Radio telescopes, nothing beats the sheer eyecandy of visual light scopes - a 40m behemoth on top of a chilean mountain? Roll on 2022! Also, the thing is, we have another ten years of technology heading our way before this goes live, so the potential of what they will be able to do is going to be incredible.

I'll openly admit that I was am always a bit gutted that the JWST (James Webb) is `only` going to be IR or near IR - I understand the science they are attempting to achieve, but imagine the (visual) results they would get with an updated hubble style CCD coupled with the incredible optics of JWST! Hopefully this new scope will bridge that gap..

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6 billion pounds on some event full of obscure sports, vs 0.8 billion on a telescope the size of the stadium those sports will be played in. I know which I'd call the better deal.

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6 billion pounds on some event full of obscure sports, vs 0.8 billion on a telescope the size of the stadium those sports will be played in. I know which I'd call the better deal.

Hmm... possible answer to the questions we've never been able to answer, such as the birth of the universe, the search for other planets that can continue for probably 30-40 years or more, probably a lot longer. Or some sports event that lasts a few weeks and will probably be forgotten by most people in a few months. Oh, and the former is also roughly an 8th of the later's cost... we could finance it ourselves.

What annoys me is the fact we spend billions and trillions on devices to kill each other with, when the sheer amount of scientific knowledge that will be available with bigger optical / infra-red / x-ray / radio telescopes is enourmous, surely that is much more important! Imagine how big an optical telescope the U.S. could have designed if the Iraq War didn't happen... $3 trillion optical budget anyone?

Edited by Naemeth
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In my younger days the Mount Paloma 200" was the bigest scope there was. The E ELT is going to be 15327.7" , that is some upgrade. I shall have to face the fact that I may not be around long enough to see the results, but to to those who do, I will bet the views will be outstanding :)

John.

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