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Hawaii Seeks End to Strife Over Astronomy on Sacred Mountain

Telescopes at the summit of the Big Island's Mauna Kea in Hawaii. 

Telescopes at the summit of the Big Island's Mauna Kea in Hawaii. 

Photographer: Caleb Jones/AP Photo

Honolulu (AP) -- For more than 50 years, telescopes and the needs of astronomers have dominated the summit of Mauna Kea, a mountain sacred to Native Hawaiians that's also one of the finest places in the world to study the night sky.

That’s now changing with a new state law saying Mauna Kea must be protected for future generations and that science must be balanced with culture and the environment. Native Hawaiian cultural experts will have voting seats on a new governing body, instead of merely advising the summit's managers as they do now.