ESO is to build the largest optical/infrared telescope in the world. At its meeting in Garching today (11 June 2012), the ESO Council approved the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) Programme, pending confirmation of four so-called ad referendum  votes. The E-ELT will start operations early in the next decade.
ESO’s governing body, the Council, met today, at the ESO Headquarters in Garching, Germany. The main topic on the agenda was the start of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) Programme — the world’s biggest eye on the sky. The E-ELT will be a 39.3-metre segmented-mirror telescope sited on Cerro Armazones in northern Chile, close to ESO’s Paranal Observatory.
All of ESO’s Member States have already expressed very strong support for the E-ELT project. The Council has today (11 June 2012) voted in favour of a resolution for the approval of the E-ELT and its first suite of powerful instruments, pending confirmation of the so-called ad referendum votes.
 Ad referendum in this context means subject to confirmation by the authorities in the Member State, before the next Council meeting.