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The E-ELT Moves Closer to Reality

The governing body of the European Southern Observatory, the ESO Council, has approved ESOs budget for 2012. This includes preparatory work on the road to the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) site at Cerro Armazones and the start of development of some very challenging optical components for the telescope. With several ESO Member States now having committed their part of the required additional funding, the final approval for the whole E-ELT programme is expected in mid-2012.
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£1bn Wrexham university telescope aims for stars with cash backing

A team of scientists received a £4million cash injection from a banking giant to boost their bid to build mirrors for a £1billion telescope.
Wrexham's Glyndr University used a bonding and foreign exchange facility from the Royal Bank of Scotland's Corporate & Institutional Banking (RBS CIB) team in Liverpool to support a contract to supply ultra-high specification optics for Europe's Extra Large Telescope (E-ELT) initiative.

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Full-size Mock-up of World's Largest Telescope Mirror Built at ESO's Open House Day

On Saturday 15 October, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) opened the doors of its headquarters in Garching bei München, Bavaria, Germany, to the public. Throughout the day, thousands of visitors had the chance to help build a full-size mock-up mirror of the largest planned telescope in the world - the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) - and to experience many other aspects of ESO's work.
Around 3100 people came to ESO's headquarters on Saturday, curious to find out more about ESO's world-class facilities and front-line scientific results. Visitors to the ESO Open House Day 2011 had a wide variety of activities to choose from. The highlight was to take part in the construction of a mock-up mirror for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), giving participants a unique chance to experience the true scale of the world's biggest eye on the sky.

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ESO and Chile sign agreement on E-ELT

At a ceremony today in Santiago, Chile the Chilean Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alfredo Moreno and ESO's Director General, Tim de Zeeuw, signed an agreement regarding the European Extremely Large Telescope. This agreement between ESO and the Chilean government includes the donation of land for the telescope, as well as a long-term concession to establish a protected area around it, and support from the Chilean government for the establishment of the E-ELT.
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Boost for world's largest telescope

New STFC funding will strengthen UK involvement in the development of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) with Oxford University scientists taking a leading role.
The E-ELT is planned to be the largest optical and infrared telescope in the world and will be tens of times more sensitive than any current ground-based optical telescope.
£2.1m of the £3.5m in new funding from the Science and Technology Facilities Council will fund work on a spectrograph called HARMONI, one of the proposed telescope's key instruments. HARMONI will be based on a design study carried out by a pan-European consortium led by Professor Niranjan Thatte of Oxford University's Department of Physics.

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Why Chile is an astronomer's paradise

With its crystal clear skies and bone dry air, the Atacama Desert in northern Chile has long drawn astronomers. Some of the most powerful telescopes in the world are housed here.
But now, work is about to begin on a telescope that will dwarf them all - not a VLT (Very Large Telescope) but an ELT (Extremely Large Telescope).

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ESO Moves One Step Closer to the First Extremely Large Telescope
 
With a decision by ESO Council to endorse a revised baseline design for the E-ELT, ESO is one step closer to starting construction of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) on 3060-metre-high Cerro Armazones near ESO's Very Large Telescope site in Chile. After the successful E-ELT Design Review in September 2010 and with Brazil joining ESO, the E-ELT project is now not only technically ready to enter the construction phase, but is also backed by a solid funding scenario.
Between the end of 2010 and the summer 2011, the E-ELT project extended the detailed design phase in order to consider the recommendations of the E-ELT Design Review. The main goals were the reduction of risk by optimising the cost and constraining the schedule to make sure that ESO can further expand its leading role in astronomy by constructing the world's first extremely large telescope.

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Cranfield University has begun work on producing seven of the mirror segments for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), with the aid of high accuracy measurement systems from Hexagon Metrology.
The current production is for prototype mirror segments. Once these are signed off Cranfield University, as part of an as yet un-named UK production company, will be able to bid for the manufacturing of more segments.

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Work starts on E-ELT mirror segments

Cranfield University has begun work on producing seven of the mirror segments for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT).
A ground-based telescope, E-ELT will be 42m in diameter and made up of 1,000 hexagonal segments, each 1.4m wide and 5cm thick. According to Cranfield, the E-ELT will gather 15 times more light than the largest optical telescopes operating today.
Cranfield University claims to be the only university in the UK with the capability to undertake the various stages of the machining process for the mirror segments to the accuracy required.

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