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

Jesse is a passionate scientist, educator, and science communicator. As an assistant professor at York University in the Department of Science, Technology, and Society, he teaches three classes: History of Astronomy, Introduction to Astronomy, and Exploring the Solar System. He frequently collaborates with the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, and lends his expert voice to the Ingenium Channel. Jesse is an astrophysicist, and his research explores how super massive black holes evolve through time. Whether in the classroom, through social media, or on TV, he encourages conversations about how science and society intersect, and why science is relevant in our daily lives.