State Supreme Court to hear arguments on giant telescope

HONOLULU (AP) — The state Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether to approve a building permit for a telescope on Mauna Kea, the grand volcano on Hawaii island.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the high court will listen to oral arguments Thursday on the Thirty Meter Telescope, which is named for the diameter of its main light-collecting mirror. It would be the largest and most expensive in the Northern Hemisphere.

Some astronomers say the Thirty Meter Telescope, which was originally estimated to cost $1.4 billion, will now take some $2 billion to complete.

If Thirty Meter Telescope astronomers don’t get clearance to start building on Mauna Kea soon, they say they will build it on La Palma in the Canary Islands, off Africa.

The Thirty Meter Telescope has been in the planning for 15 years.