A set of scientific observations will be conducted with the ELT to demonstrate its capabilities.
ELT has its technical first light.
ELT's main mirror segments are being installed.
ELT's telescope structure is completed. Its weight is 2800 tonnes.
ELT's dome is completed.
ELT's M4 mirror is completed. Its diameter is 2.4 metres
ELT's M5 mirror is completed. Its diameter is 2.7 x 2.1 metres
ELT's tertiary mirror is completed. Its diameter is 3.75 metres.
The ELT's secondary mirror is completed. With a diameter of 4.25 metres, the secondary mirror will be the largest in the world.
The first of the 798 segments for the ELT primary mirror is polished.
This is the first segment blank for mirror 1 (M1) of the ELT. Manufactured by SCHOTT, it was completed at the end of August 2018. M1 is the primary mirror of the ELT and, when completed, will be 39 metres in diameter and consist of 798 segments.
The first hexagonal segments for the main mirror of ELT were successfully cast by the German company SCHOTT.
At a ceremony in Garching bei München, Germany, ESO signed the contract with the ACe Consortium for the dome and telescope structure.
ESO has signed an agreement for the design and construction of METIS
Agreement signed for the design and construction of HARMONI
ESO has signed an agreement to design and construct MICADO
At their meeting ESO’s main governing body, the Council, gave the green light for the construction of the ELT in two phases.
Part of the 3000-metre peak of Cerro Armazones was blasted away as a step towards levelling the summit in preparation for the construction of the ELT.
The civil works for the ELT began. The Chilean company, ICAFAL Ingeniería y Construcción S.A. (ICAFAL), started the construction of a road to the summit of Cerro Armazones.
The President of Chile Sebastián Piñera handed over the legal documents by which the Chilean government transferred the land around Cerro Armazones to ESO.
ESO’s governing body, the Council, met at the ESO Headquarters in Garching, Germany, and voted to start the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) Programme.
The Republic of Chile and ESO signed an agreement regarding land for the ELT, including the donation of an area of 189 km2 around Cerro Armazones for the installation of the ELT as well as a concession for 50 years relating to the surrounding area, representing an additional 362 square kilometres, which will protect the ELT from light pollution and mining operations.
This night-time panorama shows Cerro Armazones in the Chilean desert. Cerro Armazones was chosen as the site for the ELT by ESO's Council. Cerro Armazones is a mountain at an altitude of 3060 metres in the central part of Chile’s Atacama Desert, some 130 kilometres south of the town of Antofagasta and about 23 kilometres from Cerro Paranal, home of ESO’s Very Large Telescope. Cerro Armazones was chosen from a final shortlist of including the peaks Ventarrones, Tolonchar and Vizcachas in Chile, and La Palma in Spain.