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Thirty Meter Telescope production underway

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Posted: Nov 02, 2015 2:07 PM HST Updated: Nov 02, 2015 3:05 PM HST By Theresa Kyte

Mirrors for the Thirty Meter Telescope are in production in Japan. Over 100 of the 574 glass segments are completed and in the polishing process.

The mirrors are made of high quality material with zero thermal expansion properties to prevent it from deforming. The current Keck telescopes on Mauna Kea use a similar mirror design.

When in operation, the primary mirror of the Thirty Meter Telescope is expected to have 156 times the light-gathering power and 13 times the resolving power of the Hubble Space Telescope. The telescope is expected to deliver sharper and deeper images than existing telescopes both on the ground and in space. This will allow scientists to find possible habitable planets around other stars and determine how earlier galaxies were formed.