Space: CRAL is associated with the largest telescope ever built

The Astrophysical Research Center in Lyon will provide an important instrument for the Very Large Telescope. It will explore the near infrared field.

In 2027, the largest optical telescope ever built will observe its first light at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in the Atacama Desert, Chile. called ELT, for very large telescope (ELT), it will enable progress on key astrological questions. France is one of the main contributors to its construction.

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The Lyon Research Center for Astrophysics (CRAL, CNRS supervision, Lyon 1, ENSD Lyon) participates in this project through the instrument. harmony, which is an integral near-infrared field spectrometer. It will make it possible to study the small bodies of the solar system and exoplanets as well as the formation and evolution of primordial galaxies in our universe.

Launched in 2027

Thanks to the status of “EquipEx Research Structuring Equipment +”, the French contribution to ELT hardware has been provided with additional funding of approximately eight million euros.

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In 2027, ELT will deploy, with a diameter of 39 meters, a complex deck that will be the largest in the world, ahead of the Thirty meters telescope (30 meters) from Hawaii and Giant Magellan Telescope (24.5 meters) Chile.

Among its goals: direct detection, imaging and characterization of a large number of exoplanets, and tracking the birth of planetary systems by visualizing disks around young stars with unprecedented accuracy.

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