The world’s largest telescope has started using its complex structure of mirrors to scour the outer reaches of the universe for planets similar to our own and to seek clues to help explain the origins of life. Set on a mountain on an Atlantic island, far enough from human habitation to get a clear view of the night sky, the Great Canary Telescope carries with it the hopes of scientists who believe clues to understanding our world can be found in as yet unseen parts o f the universe.
The telescope is set on a peak 2,400 meters above La Palma, one of the Canary Islands of the Atlantic.
“The GCT will be the biggest telescope in the world,” said the project manager, Pedro Alvarez. “It will observe things that are so small, or so very far off, that only a small amount of light reaches us. It will also see closer objects that either do not emit their own light or emit very little light. You need the biggest possible light-collecting surface to be able to see them.”