The European Incredibly Big Telescope (E-ELT) will have a main mirror some 40m in diameter, and will be built on top of a mountain in Chile.
Member states of the European Southern Observatory (Eso) organisation declared their help for the project on Monday at a meeting in Garching, Germany.
They have not yet, even so, put all of the 1bn euros (£0.8bn) of financing in place.
That may be feasible by December, at the organisation’s subsequent council meeting.
By then, Brazil should also have become the 15th complete member of Eso, further spreading the E-ELT’s expense and making it much more cost-effective for all nations.
The telescope should be ready for use by about 2022, and will be one of the important astronomical facilities of 21st Century, complementing other huge observatories that will view the sky at diverse wavelengths of light.
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The ESO Council has approved the start of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) Programme – the world’s biggest eye on the sky – at its meeting in Garching, Germany. The E-ELT will start operations early in the next decade. The E-ELT will be a 39.3-metre segmented-mirror telescope sited on Cerro Armazones in northern Chile, close to…