How big is the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) in Chile?

How does the future optical/near-infrared telescope match up against the world’s grandest sights


From left to right: Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the E-ELT in Chile, the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, the London Eye in London, United Kingdom, the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany and the Pyramids in Giza, Egypt. Image credit: ESO

Asked by Gerald Harris

Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro

Christ the Redeemer stands tall in Rio de Janeiro at 38m (125ft), but is small in comparison to the E-ELT’s height of 74m (243ft).

The European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT)

The next addition to the European Southern Observatory’s collection sits at a height of 74 metres (243 feet). It will also sit at an altitude of roughly 3,000 metres (10,000 feet) in the Atacama Desert in Chile.

The Colosseum, Rome

The Colosseum remains a fearsome sight at 48m (157.4ft) tall but it’s still much smaller than the E-ELT.

The London Eye, UK

The London Eye attraction towers over the European Extremely Large Telescope by a massive 61m (200ft).

Allianz Arena, Munich

The home of FC Bayern Munich is a big structure at 50m (164ft) but it is smaller than the E-ELT.

The Pyramids, Giza

While the E-ELT is a huge structure, the Great Pyramid dwarfs it at an impressive 139m (456ft).

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