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5 Biggest Telescopes in the World

Sky and telescope

By Richard Browny

Might you be wondering which some of the world’s largest telescopes are? Well, before we carefully go through them, it’s important to highlight that over the last century, human beings have been doing all they can to get a glimpse into outer space. While at first, this process was filled with glare, our view of the solar system has gradually improved.

Today, you’ll find here more information about large telescope mirrors of close to 32.8 feet which is approximately 10 meters in diameter. While some of these remarkable devices have gone through various criticisms and bypassed different hurdles, scientists are still on the right path to creating outstanding telescopes. With that said, let’s now dive into the 5 largest telescopes which you’ve probably heard of...

1. South African Radio MeerKAT Telescope

Radio telescope

This is not your typical large telescope. What’s quite impressive about it is that it’s made of 64 large dishes offering 2000 pairs of the antenna. They are located in the South African Northern coast province, and they have a diameter of 13.5mtrs, forming arguably the largest radio telescopes of today.

These dishes function together gathering and translating space radio signals. Now, using these collected radio signals, astronomers can come up with suitable images on our solar system. For instance, recently, they did a tremendous job in providing a high-tech view of our Milky Way galaxy.

With such a great achievement, this large telescope comes as ‘a breath of fresh air’ for most astronomers. It now offers a clear and unprecedented view of this galaxy. This is one of the reasons why we expect it to continue growing in demand and popularity as the years go by.

Now, you may be asking yourself, have astronomers ever sent a message to other star systems using a large radio telescope? While we’ve received contrary information mentioning the extent of inter-galactic radio communication, with such technological advancements this process is quite possible. With this in mind, we can’t wait to get to the future!

2. Chilean Extremely Huge Telescope

Huge telescope

Located in the Chilean desert, a place that’s described as the driest place on earth, this large telescope comes second in our list. This geographical area is also home to the Southern Observatory of Paranal and La Silla.

Creating this large telescope started back in 2014 when a group of workers created a construction surface on the Cerro Armazones Mountain. Three years later in 2017, they started working on its telescope dome. Now, construction is set to continue until 2024 when this enormous device will officially begin to function.

3. Magellan Giant Telescope

The third addition to our large telescope list is this Magellan telescope also found in Chile. It comes with a unique design with seven massive monolith stiff mirrors. They will then reflect light on the other seven secondary, smaller but flexible mirrors and back to its main mirror. Finally, they’ll transfer light to the advanced space cameras for analysis.

Just like any other next-generation device, this telescope has a large binocular telescope observatory to help it answer some of the controversial questions on our universe. Key among them include finding answers into the existence of alien life in exponential planets. This large telescope will also look into the formation of galaxies, dark energy, and dark matter.

4. Hawaiian Thirty Meter Large Telescope

This outstanding device will look to answer this question, “why is it advantageous to use a large-diameter objective lens in a telescope?” It comes with mirrors that are almost triple in size when compared to our current telescopes. Its purpose will not only be to provide a study of galaxies, planets or stars, but also shed more insight into dark energy as well as dark matter. Other remarkable discoveries it will try to uncover include:

  • Finding the connection between black holes and different galaxies
  • Uncovering exo-planets
  • Looking for the existence of alien life

Unfortunately, back in 2015, the construction of this telescope drew huge criticisms from Hawaiians who felt it was not safe to place it on their sacred mountain. The Supreme Court would then invoke the permit stating that the government did not make proper consultations with the locals. Later in 2017, this decision was repealed by the land’s board, but our findings show that this ruling is under appeal.

5. Synoptic Large Chilean Survey Telescope

Telescopic view

This large telescope closes our list for its state of the art and innovative design. It shows that using huge mirrors is not the only way to create a futuristic telescope. With a measurement of close to 8.4 meters, this may not be the largest space observation device, but it’s undoubtedly a game-changing device.

As a large synoptic survey telescope, its main aim is to scan the whole sky preferably at night. It does not just concentrate on a few specific targets but goes on to use its digital cameras in recording time-lapse and colorful clips of sky movements.

Lastly, similar to how a simple telescope provides better magnification by employing a short focal length objective and a standard focal length eyepiece, this telescope can capture a large area of view. It magnifies images of 49 times larger than our moon in one take. Quite impressive, right?

Conclusion: These are just some of the large telescope innovations we’ve come across so far. We, however, expect such space observation advancements to continue growing within the next couple of years. For instance, soon you should expect to find very large telescope interferometer devices taking center stage in intergalactic explorations. Do you have any in mind? Do you feel that they can transform how we view the universe?

Author’s bio: Richard Browny is a retired high school professor who enjoys intergalactic and universal explorations. After his retirement, he moved to New Mexico as he searched for a quiet and serene life. During his free time, you’ll find him and his lovely daughter watching the skies through a highly advanced telescope.


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