Chilean mountaintop blasted for giant telescope

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Associated Press

Posted on June 19, 2014 at 11:30 AM

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Astronomers in Chile are blasting away the top of a mountain to install what they say will be the world's largest optical telescope.

The 9,800-foot (3,000 meter) Cerro Armazones mountain will be the new home of the European Extremely Large Telescope.

Thursday's blast is being overseen by officials at the European Southern Observatory in northern Chile.

Their ground-based telescope has a 128-foot (39-meter) mirror, and the astronomers are calling it "the world's biggest eye on the sky." They say it will help advance the study of planets around other stars, dark matter and supermassive black holes.

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