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Originally published Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 7:22 PM

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Hawaii asteroid-hunting telescope launch delayed

The University of Hawaii expects to delay by about two years the launch of a new asteroid-hunting telescope it plans to build at Mauna Kea's summit.

Associated Press

HONOLULU —

The University of Hawaii expects to delay by about two years the launch of a new asteroid-hunting telescope it plans to build at Mauna Kea's summit.

The school's Institute for Astronomy plans to build the Pan-STARRS telescope on the site of the university's existing 2.2 meter telescope after demolishing the older facility.

Pan-STARRS is shorthand for Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System. The telescope will scan the sky for asteroids as well as phenomena like supernova, or exploding stars.

University of Hawaii astronomer and Pan-STARRS principal investigator Nick Kaiser said Wednesday the project was delayed after mechanical problems pushed back completion of a prototype built at Haleakala on Maui.

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