World's largest telescope to be built in Hawaii

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dragon04

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HONOLULU — Hawaii was chosen Tuesday as the site for the world's biggest telescope, a device so powerful that it will allow scientists to see some 13 billion light years away and get a glimpse into the early years of the universe.

The telescope's mirror — stretching almost 100 feet in diameter, or nearly the length of a Boeing 737's wingspan — will be so large that it should be able to gather light that will have spent 13 billion years traveling to earth. This means astronomers looking into the telescope will be able to see images of the first stars and galaxies forming — some 400 million years after the Big Bang.

"It will sort of give us the history of the universe," Thirty Meter Telescope Observatory Corp. spokesman Charles Blue said.

The telescope, expected to be completed by 2018, will be located atop a dormant volcano that is popular with astronomers because its summit sits well above the clouds at 13,796 feet, offering a clear view of the sky above for 300 days a year.

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