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TUCSON, Ariz. -- University of Arizona and the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization officials have lifted the lid on the third of seven giant pieces of glass that will ultimately form the world's largest telescope.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that officials gathered in Tucson on Friday to unveil the large piece for a telescope to be installed on a mountaintop in Chile. The telescope will combine the light-gathering power of seven 27-foot mirrors.

Cast in the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab beneath the east bleachers of Arizona Stadium, each mirror is formed from 20 tons of heated glass that flows into a honeycomb structure in a rotating furnace. The pieces then cool for about six months.

The mirror unveiled Friday is expected to be ready for shipment in 2018.

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Information from: Arizona Daily Star, http://www.azstarnet.com

Associated Press,

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