An occasional blog about recent projects
An 'Extremely Large' telescope
This was another splendid project requested the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) – albeit from a different part from that which requested the Lunar Loans stuff (the STFC is a little like Hydra in that respect… or maybe not).
They wanted an infographic poster explaining what the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) is, how it works, and what it will be looking for. Having written several articles about the ELT during my MetroCosm days (although it was called the E-ELT then… with the extra E standing for European), I thought that this would be a nice ‘quick turn-around’ project. However, it turns out that the old adage of ‘familiarity breeding contempt’ was especially applicable in this case and it didn’t take me long to realise just how intensive the job of drawing the telescope would be.
It took the better part of three weeks just to draw the main internal telescope structure… I mean, seriously, just look at how much scaffolding-type stuff there is holding that massive mirror in place! For most of that time, I went to bed still staring at the images of metal pipes that had seemingly been seared into the rods and cones of my retinas.
Luckily, it came out alright in the end (as did the scaffold-induced retina burn).
Below is close-up view of the main telescope structure viewed in 'preview' (a sort of 'wire frame' mode) that shows just how many lines I had to draw to get the finished result...
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Ben Gilliland is a freelance science writer, graphic journalist, illustrator and author with more than 20 years of experience. This is where he talks about work he has done... on the off-chance anyone is interested.