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After years of planning and engineering schemes, the construction of the $1.4 billion telescope in Hawaii has finally begun. The unimaginatively named Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will provide astronomers with unparalleled power to observe the stars – it will have a resolution 10 times better than Hubble.

The telescope is designed for observations from near-ultraviolet to mid-infrared (0.31 to 28 μm wavelengths). Furthermore, the telescope will feature a system to eliminate the blur caused by the Earth’s atmosphere and would be capable of investigating a broad range of astrophysical problems. Among the main aims of the telescope are dark energy, dark matter and tests of the Standard Model of particle physics, characterization of the first stars and galaxies in the Universe, exoplanet discovery and characterization, connections between supermassive black holes and galaxies, physics of planet and star formation and even the search for life on planets outside the Solar System.

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