17 Apr 2013

Huge Hawaii telescope project approved

4:28 am on 17 April 2013

A plan to build the world's largest telescope at the summit of one of Hawaii's volcanos is another step closer after the project was granted a building permit by the state's Land and Natural Resources Board.

The proposed telescope is three times bigger than the currently largest telescope, measuring 30 meters in diameter with 492 individual mirror segments.

An Astronomy Professor at the University of Toronto, Raymond Carlberg, says there is global collaboration on getting the 1.5 billion US dollar telescope built, involving universities in the United States and Canada, that are also backed by China, Japan and India.

"Well now that we've got a permit, the next thing we need is guaranteed construction funds which we are working to have by next April, and we think we can get it built and running in eight years, so it should be starting to view stars in 2022."

Professor Raymond Carlberg says the new telescope will to be able to expand the observation of new planets, solar systems and stars.