Mauna Kea's oldest telescope to get revamped

Mauna Kea's oldest telescope to get revamped

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - The oldest telescope atop a dormant volcano on Hawaii's Big Island is getting a makeover this spring.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Monday the $5 million effort to refurbish the University of Hawaii's observatory will involve repainting the dome, replacing siding, improving safety and other features. Colin Aspin, who heads the telescope program, says the work will begin in May.

The observatory has been operational since 1970 and was one of the first on the mountain.

The project to upgrade the telescope was also intended to help make it fully automated, but Aspin says costs came in higher than expected. He estimates another $2 million to $3 million is needed for the telescope to be able to function remotely in Hilo.

The Legislature has contributed $2.5 million toward the upgrades.

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