ESO plans new telescope able to see Earth-size planets
The E-ELT (European Extremely Large Telescope, depicted above) would be the biggest telescope on Earth and would have a 131 feet (40 meters) mirror. It would be the only equipment able to see planets as big as Earth orbiting near stars, says Dutch astronomer and ESO director, Tim de Zeeuw.
It would cost €1 billion and all 14 member countries of ESO would finance it. Meeting of all members is scheduled to this year, the E-ELT construction is expected to be aproved by voting. If aproved, construction should begin in December and last for 10 years.
Current biggest telescopes are 8 to 10 meters wide (26 ft to 32ft), so the E-ELT would be a major improvement on land telescopes.