Groundbreaking, Hawaiian blessing for telescope

Groundbreaking, Hawaiian blessing for telescope

HONOLULU (AP) - A groundbreaking and Hawaiian blessing ceremony launches construction on the summit of Mauna Kea to build one of the world's largest telescopes.

The events for the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope project Tuesday will be shown via a live-stream webcast because of limited access to the construction site, which is in an area with harsh physical conditions.

The telescope will be able to observe planets that orbit stars other than the sun. It should also help scientists see some 13 billion light years away for a glimpse into the early years of the universe.

Some people oppose building the telescope in a place held sacred by Native Hawaiians.

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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