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Thirty Meter Telescope groundbreaking planned for Mauna Kea early next month

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HONOLULU — Scientists plan to break ground on the summit of Mauna Kea next month to build one of the world's largest telescopes.

A groundbreaking and Hawaiian blessing ceremony for the $1.3 billion Thirty Meter Telescope is scheduled to be held on Oct. 7.

The telescope will be able to observe planets that orbit stars other than the sun. It will allow astronomers to watch new planets and stars being formed.

It should also help scientists see some 13 billion light years away for a glimpse into the early years of the universe.

Astronomers are expected to start using the telescope for observations in 2022.

A group of Canadian and California universities initiated the project. Institutions in China, India and Japan later signed on as partners.

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