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In Arizona, the first mirror has been cast for the Giant Magellan Telescope. This huge instrument will be built at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. Its seven mirrors, each well over eight metres across, will be arranged like the petals of a flower. And together they will capture more than four times the amount of light any current telescope can catch. The Californian Thirty Meter Telescope, planned for 2015, is more like a giant version of Keck. Hundreds of individual segments make up one enormous mirror as tall as a six-storey apartment. In Europe, plans are ready for a European Extremely Large Telescope. At 42 metres in diameter, its mirror will be as large as an Olympic swimming pool - twice the surface area of the Thirty Meter Telescope. These future monsters, optimised for infrared observations, will all be outfitted with sensitive instruments and adaptive optics. They should reveal the very first generation of galaxies and stars in the history of the Universe. The Eyes on the Skies is a movie produced as standard DVD and Blu-ray format, freely available for TV broadcasters and for public events carried out by educators, science centres, planetariums, amateur astronomers etc. (send your email, postal address plus a justification to us ). It explores the many facets of the telescope ¿ the historical development, the scientific importance, the technological breakthroughs, and also the people behind this ground-breaking invention, their triumphs and failures. It is presented by Dr. J, aka Dr. Joe Liske, a professional astronomer from the European Southern Observatory and host of the Hubblecast video podcast.
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