The world’s largest telescope in the Canary Islands of Spain.
Telescopes help to bring stars and galaxies closer to humans. This invention observes visible light (a type of electromagnetic radiation) from far off objects and uses that light to create an image. This function is precisely what makes them so useful to scientists and astronomers.
If you want to learn more about the Universe than you ever have before, there’s only so much you can do. You can improve your optics and your seeing, making your mirrors smoother and defect-free than ever before. But even if you do all that, there’s one improvement that will take you beyond anything you’ve ever accomplished before: size. The larger your primary mirror, the deeper, faster, and higher-resolution you’ll be able to image anything you look at in the Universe.
The Gran Telescopio
Its home is in the Canary Islands of Spain. The Gran Telescopio Canarias is by far the largest telescope on earth and measures 34 feet (or 409 inches) across! The design and development of this telescope took more than 1,000 people from over 100 companies more than a decade to complete.
Not only will it take images that are 16 times sharper and with 256 times the light-gathering power than Hubble, but it will enable us to do science that’s unfathomable with our current instruments. We can directly detect light from extra-solar planets — planets around other stars beyond our own — and break it up spectroscopically, discerning what’s in their atmospheres.
For the largest planets of all around the closest stars, we’ll even be able to take the first direct images of those worlds.