While most newly build telescopes are smaller ones that are used in universities and research stations, there are a few that get built that are destined for other, far great things. These are the super telescopes and they are bigger than you would possibly imagine…
Ten Top 10 Largest Telescopes in the Entire World
10 – VLT UT3 (Effective Aperture: 8.2 meters)
Wiki Info: The Very Large Telescope (VLT) is a telescope facility operated by the European Southern Observatory on Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. The VLT consists of four individual telescopes, each with a primary mirror 8.2 m across
9 – VLT UT2 (Effective Aperture: 8.2 meters)
Wiki Info: The four separate optical telescopes are known as Antu, Kueyen, Melipal and Yepun, which are all words for astronomical objects in the Mapuche language. The telescopes form an array which is complemented by four movable Auxiliary Telescopes (ATs) of 1.8 m aperture.
8 – VLT UT1 (Effective Aperture: 8.2 meters)
Wiki Info: The VLT is the most productive ground-based facility for astronomy, with only the Hubble Space Telescope generating more scientific papers among facilities operating at visible wavelengths. Among the pioneering observations carried out using the VLT are the first direct image of an exoplanet, the tracking of individual stars moving around the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way, and observations of the afterglow of the furthest known gamma-ray burst.
7 – Subaru, USA (Effective Aperture: 8.2 meters)
Wiki Info: Subaru Telescope is the 8.2-metre flagship telescope of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, located at the Mauna Kea Observatory on the island of Hawaii and it is named after the open star cluster known in English as the Pleiades.
6 – Large Binocular Telescope, USA (Effective Aperture: 8.4 meters)
Wiki Info: The Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) is an optical telescope for astronomy located on 3,300 m Mount Graham, in the Pinaleno Mountains of southeastern Arizona, United States and it’s a part of the Mount Graham International Observatory.
5 – Southern African Large Telescope, South Africa (Effective Aperture: 9.2 meters)
Wiki Info: SALT (Southern African Large Telescope) is the largest optical telescope in the southern hemisphere. It enables imaging, spectroscopic, and polarimetric analysis of the radiation from astronomical objects out of reach of northern hemisphere telescopes.
4 – Keck 2, USA (Effective Aperture: 10 meters)
Wiki Info: The W. M. Keck Observatory is a two-telescope astronomical observatory at an elevation of 4,145 meters near the summit of Mauna Kea in the U.S. state of Hawaii.
3 – Keck 1, USA (Effective Aperture: 10 meters)
Wiki Info: Both telescopes feature 10 m primary mirrors, currently among the largest astronomical telescopes in use. The combination of an excellent site, large optics and innovative instruments has created the two most scientifically productive telescopes on Earth.
2 – Hobby-Eberly Telescope, USA (Effective Aperture: 10 meters)
Wiki Info: Three instruments are available to analyze the light from the targets. All three instruments are spectrographs. The instruments work at high, medium and low spectral resolution. The low-resolution spectrograph is housed at the prime focus, while the medium and high-resolution spectrographs reside in the basement and the light is fed into them via a fiber-optic cable.
1 – Gran Telescopio Canarias, Spain (Effective Aperture: 10.4 meters)
Wiki Info: The GTC Project is a partnership formed by several institutions from Spain and Mexico, the University of Florida, the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC). Planning for the construction of the telescope, which started in 1987, involved more than 1,000 people from 100 companies.