How It Works

What will the European Extremely Large Telescope look for?

From Maria Hernandez.

Due for completion in 2024, the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) will be the largest optical and nearinfrared telescope in the world. One major use will be to search for distant planets. Stars with planets orbiting them ‘wobble’, and by indirectly measuring how distant stars wobble the ELT will be able to discover new planets around them, possibly allowing astronomers to understand how new planets form. The ELT will also be used to help us understand how galaxies evolve, study black holes, probe the nature of the elusive dark matter and dark energy and perhaps even measure the continued expansion of the universe.

Answered by Tom Lean for Brain Dump in How It Works issue 107


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