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Dr. J and the World’s Biggest Telescope

European Extremely Large Telescope E-ELT

Air Date: 01/13/2015
Run Time: 36:11

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  • Joe Liske, Acting Programme Scientist for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), and host of Hubblecast, European Southern Observatory (ESO)

Topics: commercial spaceflight, mission status, Akatsuki (Planet-C), Planetary Radio, Chang'E program, International Space Station, optical telescopes, Bill Nye

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Joe Liske, host of Hubblecast, is also the top scientist on the European Southern Observatory’s European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), now under construction on a Chilean mountaintop. “Dr. J” tells us what this largest ever telescope will help us discover. Emily Lakdawalla has updates on the Akatsuki and Chang’e missions. Bill Nye shares his thoughts about the latest SpaceX launch to the International Space Station. Bruce Betts looks back at the Huygens lander on Saturn’s moon Titan for this week’s What’s Up.

European Extremely Large Telescope deploying lasers for adaptive optics

ESO/L. Calçada/N. Risinger (

European Extremely Large Telescope deploying lasers for adaptive optics
The E-ELT will make extensive use of adaptive optics to achieve images of remarkable sharpness. In this artist’s view the future 39-meter telescope is shown using lasers to create artificial stars high in the atmosphere. These are used as part of the telescope’s sophisticated adaptive optics system to remove much of the blurring effect of the Earth’s atmosphere.

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Trivia Contest

This week's prizes are the beautiful and informative Year in Space Desk and Wall Calendars.

This week's question:

To the nearest half-hour, how long did it take the Huygens probe to descend from the top of Titan’s atmosphere to the surface?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at no later than Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

Besides Galileo (the man, not the spacecraft) who was the first person to discover a moon circling another planet? (Not Earth’s moon, but you might earn extra points if you tell us who discovered that moon, too. Also, a Nobel prize.)


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

How many rockets carried humans into orbit in 2014?


Four rockets carried humans into orbit in 2014.


No trivia contest spoilers please!

Chris C.: 01/14/2015 10:38 CST

You should link to the HubbleCast site too! I see (well, hear) that you changed the show's theme music. What ever happened to the new slogan, to replace the "final frontier" one? I recall that you had a contest for a new slogan, and a winner ...

HeatherP : 01/15/2015 07:35 CST

The new theme is ok but I much prefer the old theme as I more of an image of objects floating in space when I hear it.

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