OPTICON ELT Working Group

This page is due for replacement. Look here for our most up to date activities on the science case

There are several concepts around the future of the next generation of very large ground based telescopes. These include:

  • The ESO Overwhelming Large Telescope (OWL). Click here for a movie (MS Explorer will launch quicktime, our save to a file and view with realplayer)

  • The California Extremely Large Telescope (CELT)

  • The Replacement for the Canda-France-Hawaii Telescope (The next generation CFHT)

  • The Euro 50 adaptive 50m telescope involving Sweden,Spain, Ireland and Finland. Click here for a movie (but you really need a DviX Player- running with real player will be slow and likely to crash)

    The US AURA New Initiatives Office which describes some US proposals and has a number of useful links.

  • The Large Petal Telescope (a possible concept for the next generation CFHT)

    Tim Hawarden, UKATC project scientist for ELTs, has written this paper comparing ground based ELTs to the spaceborne Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST).

    OPTICON is bringing together astronomers, from both Europe and elsewhere, who are interested in such developments. Our objective is to build a consensus on the scientific case for, and engineering challenges of, such an enterprise. Our first step was to hold a Workshop on the Science Case for ELTs in Edinburgh. A rough summary of the first meeting is available if you want to review it. The ideas brought forth were further developed at a second Workshop held in Leiden from 14-25 May 2001. Details of that meeting can be found here but the important result of it was the drafting of a more detailed science case.

    This expanded science case includes contributions from very many scientists. It is currently being circulated to the astronomical community for suggestions, improvements, additions and enhancements. The document presently comprises three sections which can be viewed as postscript files by clicking on the links here. The sections are stars and planets, galaxies and cosmology.

    You are encouraged to forward suggestions and comments to improve this draft to

    Gerry Gilmore
    with copies to
    John Davies
    Tim Hawarden

    ELT Technology Activities

    In parallel with the scientific case, OPTICON is also sponsoring activities which will lead to proposals for ELT related design and technology studies. A meeting of this group was held in Turku on May 3,4 at which preliminary allocation of work packages was mooted. More details of this meeting will be posted here soon but for the moment, here ( courtesy of Roland Geyl of SAGEM) is a picture of the participants during our visit to the Turola Observatory.

    John Keith Davies
    Astronomy Technology Centre, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh, EH9 3HJ.
    tel: 0131 668 8348/ fax: 0131 668 8407

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    Last update, 14 May 2002