Feeds

UK injects £88m into Euro bid to build Hubble-thrashing 'scope

Building work starts on world's biggest space-gazer

Remote control for virtualized desktops

The UK will bung £88m towards the European Southern Observatory's £1bn project to build the world's largest telescope. The cash injection is on top of Blighty's annual £18m contribution to the ESO.

Construction of the ground-based European Extremely Large Telescope is underway and is expected to take ten years to complete. We're told the enormo-contraption will produce images 16 times sharper than the Hubble space 'scope, and should help answer some of the biggest questions facing modern astronomy.

E-ELT, an artist's impression, credit ESO

What the European Extremely Large Telescope is expected to look like

The E-ELT has a 39m-diameter primary mirror - its collection area is 47 nanoWales - and is capable of collecting at least 15 times more light than any existing telescope, we're told. The reflector-type scope is made of 798 1.4m-wide hexagonal mirror segments and features a novel design that results in exceptional image quality.

Eight projects to design special cameras and spectrographs to analyse the data collected by E-ELT are being considered. It will be capable of picking up spectrum from visible light to infrared.

Its location - 3,000m (9,800ft) up in the Cerro Armazones in Chile - allows the equipment to avoid atmospheric effects that plague lower-sited observatories. Specialised actuators, or pistons, move each individual hexagon panel to precisely control the shape of the mirror, compensating for effects on the light reaching the telescope.

Engineers are slicing off the top of the Chilean peak to get a flat surface on which to build the E-ELT, and they hope the facility will be completed by 2023.

Ground telescopes are a major priority for astronomers, who use them to study planets and their stars, the "first objects" in the universe, super-massive black holes, and the nature of dark matter and dark energy that dominate the universe.

Studies of the universe's first galaxies help define our understanding of the creation of the universe and the laws of physics. There's a handy cut-out-and-keep guide to the E-ELT's technology here [PDF]. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Simon's says quantum computing will work
Boffins blast algorithm with half a dozen qubits
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.