The World's Observatories

European Extremely Large Telescope

We have a rich history of looking to the skies in search of an understanding of our place in the universe. This presentation looks at the many different kinds of observatories operating around the world and their locations. Most people are familar with optical telescopes that gather light to produce images. This photo shows the European Extremely Large Telescope in the Chilean Atacama Desert to be completed in 2024.

There are also "telescopes" that gather different energy to give us a view of other stellar phenomena. Most common are radio telescopes that "see" phenomenon in the universe that produce electromagnetic emmissions. Perhaps the most famous of these is the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. These allow us to detect the presence of black holes, for example.

In 2016, scientists at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) reported that they detected gravity waves from colliding black holes. The LIGO observatories are near Richland, Washington and Livingston, Louisiana.