How large a telescope was needed to image an exoplanet?
The first-ever image of a planet beyond the Solar System was taken in 2005 by astronomers using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. Known as 2M1207b, the planet is about 1.5 times bigger than Jupiter and around 170 light-years away. It was detected using one of the VLT’s four gigantic telescopes, whose light-gathering mirrors are an impressive 8.2 metres across.
The ESO Very Large Telescope is located in the Atacama Desert, Chile