Go back

European giant telescope to start building works

The European Southern Observatory has approved spending for the initial building work of the Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) in Chile.

At a meeting on 7-8 December, the ESO council approved the organisation’s 2012 budget, including spending for the first elements of the giant telescope.

However, the overall project funding still remains to be approved, as some of the organisation’s member states have not secured their share of the budget.

“The E-ELT is starting to become reality. However, with a project of this size it is expected that approval of the extra expenditure will take time. The council at the same time recognises that preparatory work must start now in order for the project to be ready for a full start of construction in 2012,” ESO’s director-general Tim de Zeeuw said in a statement.

Building the 39-metre telescope will cost about €1.08 billion in total, ESO said.

ESO has built and operated several observatories in Chile since the 1960s. The organisation has its headquarters in Garching near Munich, Germany, and is funded by 15 countries.