Under Construction

Look: 6 stunning views of the largest telescope on Earth

Space-based telescopes like the James Webb Space Telescope and the in-development Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope are constantly in the spotlight.

But scientists are still building better Earth-based telescopes that will revolutionize our view of the cosmos.

High up on a mountain in Chile, a massive telescope is currently under construction.

It’s called the Extremely Large Telescope (yes, really), or ELT for short.

G.Hüdepohl ( atacamaphoto.com ) / ESO

When it’s completed in 2027, the ELT will be the largest telescope of its kind with a 39-meter aperture (about 128 feet).

ESO/L. Calçada/ACe Consortium

It will focus on visible and near-infrared frequencies — stuff we can see with the naked eye, and stuff that’s invisible to us.



The ELT will have the ability to generate images 15 times sharper than the Hubble Space Telescope, according to the European Southern Observatory, which oversees the ELT project.

ESO/L. Calçada/ACe Consortium

Here are 6 stunning views of what will be the world’s largest telescope:

6. This globe-shaped image captures the scale of the construction site atop Cerro Armazones, the mountain in Chile where the ELT will reside.


5. Here’s a panoramic view of the site atop Cerro Armazones. (An interactive version can be found here).

4. This rendering shows the proposed size of the ELT’s observatory compared to four stations that make up ESO’s Very Large Telescope (center) and the Colosseum (right).



3. This animation shows what the observatory will look like once it is fully built.

2. The ELT’s dome is currently under construction. Drone footage from 2019 shows the work in progress.


1. The Milky Way can be seen in this time-lapse over Cerro Armazones. Since the observatory is isolated, it will be able to capture stunning views in the dark night sky.

P. Horálek/ESO

Thanks for reading,
head home for more!