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Posted: Wednesday, November 14th, 2012 9:15 AM HST

University of Hawaii gets OK for Maui telescope

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) The University of Hawaii says the state is allowing the school to build the world's largest solar optical telescope on Maui's Haleakala volcano.

The university said Tuesday the state Board of Land and Natural Resources last week reaffirmed its decision approving the project.

UH President M.R.C. Greenwood says the school is eager to move forward on the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope.

The $300 million telescope will be built on a half-acre among a cluster of observatories near Haleakala's summit. It will allow scientists to observe sunspots, flares and other phenomena too small to be seen with current equipment.

Supporters say the telescope will advance understanding of the sun. Opponents say it will defile a place sacred to Native Hawaiians.

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