EuroNews actually came to JIVE a couple years ago to film a program for the European Space Agency. It gives a nice little introduction to the method of astronomy "we" do here, called Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI).
The short version: building a telescope the size of the planet would be REALLY expensive. Instead, use a bunch of little telescopes at the same time to simulate a great big telescope. Here's the video:
Traditional/current VLBI methodology has each of the telescopes record data onto many many many disks and ship them to us here to be correlated. But that takes a loooooooong time. And if there was something wrong with the telescope settings or there was something interesting happening in the sky, the operators and the astronomers wouldn't realize it until it was too late.
Our project, EXPReS, is connecting the telescopes via fiber optic network so that the data can be sent electronically and correlated in real-time. Voila! The astronomer gets his (and occasionally her) data in a matter of hours instead of weeks or months. If something interesting and short-lived is happening (like the flaring of a microquasar), follow-on observations (such as this one by a different telescope) might be scheduled to further study said interesting thing. We conducted just such an observation yesterday morning and hope to have something interesting to share soon!