The currently terrestrial Bill Gates and his former (and space-faring) Microsoft colleague, Charles Simonyi, have donated a cool $30m to a project that aims to build "the world's largest survey telescope" (cleverly) called the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. On Thursday, the group said that Gates and Simonyi had donated $10m and $20m respectively to help develop the telescope, which Gates says "is truly an Internet telescope, which will put terabytes of data each night into the hands of anyone that wants to explore." The 8.4-meter telescope, which sports three large mirrors and three refractive lenses, will be built on a mountain in northern Chile and is scheduled to decimate the magic of your astronomy club in 2014.

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Gates and space-ace Simonyi gift $30m for giant telescope