Spain will get giant telescope if Hawaii doesn't, group says

HONOLULU — An agreement has been reached for a giant telescope to be built in Spain's Canary Islands if it cannot be put atop a Hawaii mountain.

Telescope builder TMT International Observatory says Hawaii's Mauna Kea remains the preferred location for the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope.

But some Native Hawaiians are fighting to keep the telescope off a mountain they consider sacred.

Hawaii's Supreme Court invalidated the project's construction permit, forcing long-running hearings for a new one. It's unclear when a decision will be made.

The nonprofit TMT on Wednesday said the Canary Islands agreement was a milestone for the embattled project.

It wants to start construction next year.

The Spanish agency overseeing Canary Islands observatories says the telescope would be good for Spain and the world's astronomy community.

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