Extremely Large Telescopes
The Big Eye at Palomar was started in 1928 and dedicated in 1948. It took
until the 1990's for the generation of 8 meter class telescopes to start
coming on line, beginning with the two Kecks, then the first VLT to be
followed by the two Gemini's, the MMT upgrade, the LBT, Hobby-Eberly, Magellan,
etc. Even though the 8 meter generation will not be completed until around 2005,
people are already beginning to think about Extremely Large Telescopes (ELT's)
in the 30 to 100 meter class.
Some ELT Projects:
- The Canada-France-Hawaii Next Generation CFHT Committee
(NGC) have recommended that their next project be a 25 meter or greater ground based telescope, diffraction limited using adaptive optics. The report has no discussion of engineering and recommends an immediate start on a phase A study.
- The AURA ACCORD committee sponsored the
MAXAT Workshop in August 1998. The report discusses the scientific
case for an ELT along with some of the technical challenges.
- An Overwhelmingly Large Telescope (OWL) has been discussed at ESO with considerable details on the technology.
- The Swedish Extremely Large Telescope Project is examining the design of a 50 meter, diffraction limited telescope.
Workshop on Extremely Large Telescopes sponsored by ESO and by the Swedish Extremely Large Telescope Project was held in Sweden on June 1-2, 1999.
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page by Wallace Sargent, last updated 8 June 1999