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ESO ELT Instrumentation Program

The Department of Astronomy is proud to be participating in the instrumentation program for the  Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) of the European Southern Observatory.  The ELT is a 39-meter diameter telescope being built on Cerro Armazones in Chile.  When it achieves first light (expected in 2025) it will be the largest optical/infrared telescope in the world.  The University of Michigan is in advanced negotiations to establish official partnerships with the instrument consortia planning to build the HARMONI, METIS, MOSAIC, and HIRES instruments.  This will provide access to the world's largest telescope through the Guaranteed Time Observing program for each instrument.  These observations will make fundamental contributions to all areas of astrophysics including studies of cosmic dawn; dark matter and dark energy; formation and growth of supermassive black holes; the formation of stars like the Sun and their planetary systems; and the detection and characterization of exotic worlds including perhaps the search for life elsewhere in the Universe.  While designing and building the instruments is now the major focus, scientific planning, software development, and preparatory observations are already beginning.  Please contact elt_astro@umich.edu for more information.