World's Largest Telescope Has Pricetag of $1.2 Billion

A consortium of U.S. and Canadian universities has decided to build the world's largest telescope in Hawaii.

Thirty Meter Telescope Observatory Corp. picked Mauna Kea volcano instead of Chile's Cerro Armazones mountain, the other finalist candidate site.

The $1.2 billion telescope should allow scientists to see some 13 billion light years away — a distance so great and so far back in time that researchers should be able to watch the first stars and galaxies forming.

The telescope will be built by the University of California, the California Institute of Technology and the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy.

Its mirror will stretch 30 meters, or almost 100 feet, in diameter. That's about three times the diameter of the current world's largest telescopes, which are located atop Mauna Kea.