Beyond Hubble

A new crop of bigger, sharper, smarter telescopes is revolutionizing astronomy

The sun is setting over the luxury resorts of Kona, on Hawaii's Big Island. Warm tropical breezes waft lazily through the palms. Honeymooning couples sip mai tais by the pool as waves break gently on white sand.

Just 30 miles inland, conditions aren't quite so pleasant. The sunset is every bit as gorgeous from here, at the summit of the long-dormant volcano Mauna Kea, but temperatures hover around 38[degrees]F, with a windchill that dips well below freezing. At an altitude of nearly 14,000 ft., the atmosphere carries barely half the oxygen it does at sea level, so the slightest exertion can...

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