Astronomers Create Detailed Plans for the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) using LEGO®

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An example of a LEGO observatory
A team of astrnomers at the European Southern Observatory have been playing with LEGO® (Image credit: ESO/Frans Snik)

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) is building one of three next generation optical telescopes, called the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT). It will have a primary aperture that is 39 meters wide made of segmented mirrors. Astronomer Frans Snik and his team have created detailed LEGO® instructions for you to now build your own ELT. As both an astronomer and lover of LEGO®, I approve of this project.

The other two next generation optical telescopes are the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), which has a 30 meter aperture, and the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT). Canada is a full partner in the TMT, which is still in the planning phase.

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Astronomers Create Detailed Plans for the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) using LEGO®
European Southern Observatory
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Jesse Rogerson, PhD

As a passionate science communicator, Jesse Rogerson loves promoting science literacy to the public. He frequently represents the Canada Aviation and Space Museum on television and radio, social media, and at conferences. He co-developed a science communication workshop for Canadian science professionals, to instruct them in more effective methods of communicating their science. A trained and practicing astrophysicist, Jesse holds a PhD in observational astrophysics from York University, and recently published a peer-reviewed paper in The Astrophysical Journal. Jesse enjoys riding his motorcycle, board games, and ultimate frisbee.