Future Facilities and Instrumentation Development

E-ELT: The European Extremely Large Telescope

Extremely Large Telescopes are considered worldwide as one of the highest priorities in ground-based astronomy. They will vastly advance astrophysical knowledge, allowing detailed studies of subjects including planets around other stars, the first objects in the Universe, super-massive black holes, and the nature and distribution of the dark matter and dark energy which dominate the Universe.

Since the end of 2005 ESO has been working together with its user community of European astronomers and astrophysicists to define the new giant telescope needed by the middle of the next decade. More than 100 astronomers from the European community have been involved, helping the E-ELT Project Office to produce a novel concept, in which performance, cost, schedule and risk were carefully evaluated.

Dubbed E-ELT for European Extremely Large Telescope, this revolutionary new ground-based telescope concept will have a 40-metre-class main mirror and will be the largest optical/near-infrared telescope in the world: “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.

For more information please visit the E-ELT Project Web site.

Instrumentation Development

ESO's mission is to provide its astronomical community with worldwide competitive ground-based observing capabilities to probe the Universe from its first billion year to the present time. In order to achieve this it is essential that ESO's state of the art telescopes are equipped with comprehensive instrument suites. The ESO community is deeply involved in the development of instruments and telescope systems for the ESO observatories, with most projects pursued through collaborations between research institutes in the ESO member states and ESO.

For more information visit the Instrumentation Development Web site.