LEGO Ideas

The Very Large Telescope

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The Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) consists of four 8.2-m optical telescopes located at Cerro Paranal (Chile), and is the most powerful astronomical observatory in the world. Each of the four telescopes can be pointed individually to an astronomical target, and the light from that target is then analyzed in detail by the advanced instruments connected to the telescopes. In addition, the four telescopes can be connected together as an interferometer, allowing them to produce the sharpest-ever images of the night sky.

This LEGO model is one of the VLT Unit Telescopes and its dome. Moreover, the design includes all the different instruments used on the VLT telescopes, so you can build your favourite Unit Telescope (or combine all your favourite instruments on one telescope). Both the telescope and the dome are fully steerable, and you can open and close all the shutters on the dome. 

The scale of the model is approximately 1:150. This is the same as the LEGO European Extremely Large Telescope model, so you can compare the sizes of these behemoth structures!

The complete instruction set and parts list can be downloaded at

Many thanks in advance if you are willing to vote for this model. And if you are interested in building one (or several!) of these LEGO Very Large Telescopes, please drop me an email, and send me some photos of the building process!


Photo credit: Frans Snik, with support from ESO. Background photos: ESO/Y.Beletsky and ESO/G.Hüdepohl.

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