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Thirty Meter Telescope, largest optical lens in the world, approved for construction in Hawaii

The telescope, which was approved by the Hawaii state Board of Land and Natural Resources, will be a partnership between American and Canadian research centers.

mauna keaEnlarge
Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii where the Thirty Meter Telescope will be completed by 2022. The telescope will be able to look at matter 13 billion light years away. (Gary Newkirk/Getty Images)

A new telescope that could explore every corner of the universe got the go-ahead this week at the University of Hawaii.

The telescope, which was approved by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources, will be a partnership between American and Canadian research centers with China, Japan and India coming on as partners.

The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will be able to see galaxies forming 13 billion light years away.

That means that it will be able to see the beginning of the universe.

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When it is built later this decade, it will provide images of our universe three times sharper than any telescope working today.

It may even provide detailed pictures of planets outside of our solar system.

Researchers are expected to use the telescope to study star formation in the Milky Way and Andromeda.

Construction will likely begin in April 2014 at the summit of the Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii and will be finished by 2022. 

The telescope will cost over $1 billion and will be nearly 100 feet long, just short of the largest telescope in Europe - the aptly named European Extremely Large Telescope.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/science/130416/thirty-meter-telescope-largest-optical-lens-the-world-approved-construc