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ESOcast 37: Full-size Mock-up of World's Largest Telescope Mirror Built at ESO's Open House Day

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On Saturday 15 October, ESO — the European Southern Observatory — opened the doors of its headquarters in Germany to the public. Throughout the day, thousands of visitors had the chance to help build a full-size mock-up mirror of the largest planned telescope in the world — the European Extremely Large Telescope, or E-ELT — and to experience many other aspects of ESO’s work. This is the ESOcast! Cutting-edge science and life behind the scenes at ESO, the European Southern Observatory. Exploring the ultimate frontier with our host Dr J, a.k.a. Dr Joe Liske. ESO’s 2011 Open House Day attracted around 3100 visitors to its headquarters, in Garching near Munich, Germany. The visitors were curious to find out more about ESO’s world-class facilities and front line scientific results. Participants had a wide variety of activities to choose from, with the highlight of the event being the construction of a life-size cardboard mock-up of the E-ELT’s giant 39.3-metre mirror. This gave participants a unique chance to experience the true scale of the world’s future biggest eye on the sky. Because the E-ELT’s main mirror is so large, it consists of 798 individual hexagonal mirrors, each about 1.4 metres across. Using pegs and an outline of the mirror on the ground, enthusiastic visitors of all ages placed the cardboard hexagons on the ground to slowly form the giant mirror. When finished, the full-size mock-up measured 39.3 metres across and occupied an area of nearly 1000 square metres next to the ESO Headquarters. Additionally, there were talks on hot topics in astronomy, and video links to the Very Large Telescope, giving people the opportunity to chat live with ESO astronomers working on Cerro Paranal in the Chilean Atacama Desert. Children and their parents enjoyed having their photos taken in infrared light, and observing the Sun through telescopes equipped with suitable filters. Three exhibitions were dedicated to ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and the future E-ELT. Once again, the Open House Day at ESO was a great opportunity for people to discover the latest exciting developments from the world’s most productive astronomical observatory. This is Dr J., signing off for the ESOcast. Join me again next time for another cosmic adventure. ESOcast is produced by ESO, the European Southern Observatory. ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the pre-eminent intergovernmental science and technology organisation in astronomy, designing, constructing and operating the world’s most advanced ground-based telescopes. Transcription by ESO ; translation by — Now that you've caught up with ESO, head 'out of this world' with Hubble. The Hubblecast highlights the latest discoveries of the world´s most recognized and prized space observatory, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope

Video Details

Duration: 4 minutes and 6 seconds
Country: Germany
Language: English
Producer: Herbert Zodet
Director: Lars Lindberg Christensen
Views: 1,684
Posted by: esoastronomy on Oct 19, 2011

On Saturday 15 October 2011 ESO opened the doors of its headquarters in Garching bei München, Germany, to the public. Throughout the day, thousands of visitors had the chance to help build a full-size mock-up mirror of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) -- the largest planned telescope in the world -- and to experience many other aspects of ESO's work.

More information: http://www.eso.org/public/videos/esocast37a/

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