Rendering of the Thirty Meter Telescope design as of 2012
The Construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope, the world's largest, will begin in Hawaii in October as local authorities have approved a land lease for the project, Japan's National Astronomical Observatory said Tuesday.
A ceremony will be held in October to mark the start of construction of the telescope near the summit of the 4,205-meter Mauna Kea, with completion of the project, involving Canada, China, India, Japan and the United States, planned for 2021.
The telescope will search for Earth-like planets and observe stars born in the early stage of the universe.
The 30-meter-diameter main mirror will be made up of 492 pieces produced by Japan, with 60 pieces of mirror already made by the end of March.
Construction of the telescope will cost around 150 billion yen, about a quarter of which will be shouldered by Japan.