More like ground blowing up rather than breaking.
The top of a 10,000ft (3,000m) mountain in Cerro Armazones, Chile was blown off and will be leveled to start building the European-Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT).
When completed, the E-ELT will have a 39 meter (42.5 yards or 128 ft) main mirror and will be the largest optical/near-infrared telescope in the world. At least for a short while.
The Gran Telescopio Canarias which has a 10.4 m (410 in) mirror. So the new telescope will be almost 4 times larger. Tch Gran Telescopio Canarias has a total reflective area of about 340in. The E-ELT will have a whopping 4,779 in area! Its enough to give some telescopes a size complex!
Ever since the advent of segmented mirrors and adaptive optics, very large ground based have been all the craze. Although the view from space can’t be beat, technology is currently limited as to the size of the mirror that can be place in orbit. Ground based telescopes can also be repaired at a much lower cost.
Don’t despair for space telescopes, they are getting larger and more adept as time moves on. There are plenty of scientists all around the world waiting for time on all the currently available telescopes and the amount of data stored is staggering.
What we really need is a lot more scientists to cull all this data and find the answers to the Universe.
– Ex astris, scientia –
I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +