European Extremely Large Telescope Hunts For Extraterrestrial Life (PHOTOS)

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European Southern Observatory

It's not just big, it's not even extraordinarily sizeable, the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) is the whopping great telescope that Chile has agreed to house so we can scan for other earth-like planets.

The telescope's 40-metre main mirror will make it the largest optical/near-infrared telescope in the world and will take images 15 times sharper than Hubble's.

At a ceremony in Santiago, the Chilean Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alfredo Moreno, and ESO’s Director General, Tim de Zeeuw, signed an agreement that secures donated Chilean land for the telescope, a protected area around it, and support from the Chilean government for the establishment of the E-ELT.

The new telescope will be completed by early next decade and will be placed at Cerro Armazones, 20kms from the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory. there's no word yet on whether an absolutely blisteringly massive telescope has been planned to build on advances made by E-ELT.

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Filed by Melanie Hick