The Extremely Large Telescope, or ELT, is the largest optical and infrared telescope in the world. With a main mirror that will be nearly 40 meters in diameter, it will allow scientists to see deeper into space and further back in time than ever before. The ELT is being built by the European Southern Observatory, or ESO, at the Paranal Observatory in Chile, and is set to start operations in 2025.

Sealing Solutions for the ELT


The engineering and design of the ELT is a truly impressive feat, requiring careful planning and construction. One of the many challenges that the ESO and its partners have had to overcome is designing and building the seals that will be used on the telescope.

Seals may seem like a small part of a much larger project, but their role in keeping the ELT functioning properly cannot be overstated. The seals will be used to keep dust and other contaminants out of sensitive areas of the telescope, while also preventing oil and other lubricants from escaping and contaminating the environment.

To accomplish this, engineers have developed a range of complex seals that must be able to withstand the harsh conditions of the observatory. The seals used on the ELT will be exposed to a range of environmental conditions, including temperature fluctuations, high winds, and exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

Despite these challenges, the seals for the ELT have been designed to meet the highest standards of performance and reliability. Using a combination of the latest materials and advanced manufacturing techniques, engineers have been able to develop seals that are able to withstand the extreme conditions of the observatory, while also delivering consistent and reliable performance over the long-term.

Watch the World’s Largest Telescope

Watch The World's Largest Telescope

If you’re interested in seeing the ELT in action, you’re in luck. Wired has produced a fascinating video that takes you behind the scenes of the observatory, showing you how the telescope is constructed and how it will be used to further our understanding of the universe.

The video provides a great overview of the engineering and technology that goes into building a telescope of this size and complexity. You’ll see how the mirror is made, how it’s transported to the observatory, and how it’s installed and calibrated. You’ll also learn about the specialized cameras and instruments that will be used with the telescope, and how scientists will use the data they collect to explore the most fundamental questions about our universe.

The World’s Largest Telescope Home

The World's Largest Telescope Home

The ELT is a truly impressive engineering project, and it’s no surprise that so many people are fascinated by it. However, it’s important to remember that the ELT is just one part of a larger effort to understand the universe and our place in it.

There are many other telescopes and observatories around the world, each with its own unique capabilities and contributions to science. Together, these telescopes are helping us to answer some of the most fundamental questions about the nature of space and time, the origins of the universe, and the possibility of life on other planets.


What kind of science will the ELT be used for?

The ELT will be used for a wide range of scientific research, from studying the formation of galaxies to searching for extraterrestrial life. One of the primary goals of the telescope is to study the atmospheres of exoplanets, looking for signs of life or other interesting phenomena.

How much will the ELT cost?

The ELT is a major engineering project that will cost around €1 billion to complete. However, the scientific potential of the telescope is immense, and many scientists believe that the knowledge and discoveries it will provide will be well worth the investment.

ELT in Action: A Video Overview

Questions? Let us know in the comments below!

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Watch The World's Largest Telescope | WIRED Video | CNE

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