"Mega Telescopes: how and why?" The European Southern Observatory will soon blast off the top of a mountain in the Atacama desert to start construction of a telescope five times bigger than any existing today. This telescope is known as the European Extremely Large Telescope, or E-ELT. The primary mirror will be made from 798 mirrors and will be 39m in diameter and be controlled to nanometre accuracy. In this lecture Prof Cunningham will describe the engineering challenges of this giant telescope and give a preview of some of the exciting astronomical discoveries that may result, from the first galaxies to Earthlike planets.
Prof Cunningham is Director, UK E-ELT Programme, and is also involved in projects with ESA and the UK Space Agency.
The lecture is free and open to all, including free refreshments. It will be held in the Bell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Queen's University, Belfast, at 7.30 p.m.
Thanks to the Astrophysics Research Centre, QUB, for help in hosting these lectures.