TELESCOPE SPAIN
The TMT, to be built on a dormant volcano in Hawai, will be even bigger than the above Gran Telescopio de Canarias, or GTC at La Palma in Spain's Canary Islands, which is the world's largest telescope today.REUTERS

The world's biggest telescope will be built near the summit of the dormant Mauna Kea volcano on Hawaii Island.

Situated above the clouds at 13,796 feet, it will offer a clear and deep view of the skies above for 300 days a year, reports AP.

To be built jointly by five nations – Japan, China, India, the US and Canada – the thirty-metre telescope (TMT) will have light condensing capability that allows identification of an object as small as a coin from a distance equivalent to 500 km.

It will allow scientists to see 13 billion light years away and get a glimpse of very old stars born 200 million to 400 million years after the Big Bang.

The construction is expected to be completed by 2022, according to Kyodo News Agency.

The project will cost £935m ($1.47bn) with Japan bearing a quarter of the cost and India and China signing up to pay their share.

Hawaii was chosen for being free of air pollution due to its isolated position in the middle of the Pacific Ocean while few cities mean there is less light pollution from artificial sources.

Mauna Kea, being at a higher elevation with dry air and minimal temperature fluctuation, is considered ideal for the new telescope.

However, the TMT will not be the biggest telescope once the massive European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) project at Chile's Atacama Desert is completed.