Two Spanish companies, Gometegui and Hilfa, have completed work on the dome that will protect the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope, now under construction in Hawaii.
The 3.5 million-euro ($4.7-million) contract to create the "house of the telescope," as Gometegui executive Iñaki Gento calls it, was awarded by the U.S. National Solar Observatory.
The ATST is set to begin operations in 18 months at the Haleakala High Altitude Observatory site on the Hawaiian island of Maui.
The telescope "will provide a revolutionary new window on the solar magnetic atmosphere and will be the primary scientific tool for understanding the impacts of variations in the solar output on the Earth's climate," the NSO says.
Gometegui and Hilfa began work on the dome in January 2012.
With a diameter of 26 meters (85 ft.), the dome is 24 meters high and weighs 600 tons.
The dome is designed to allow the telescope to follow the movement of the sun across the sky, Gento said at the public presentation of the structure in the northern Spanish town of Basauri.
After undergoing trials, the dome will be disassembled for transport to Hawaii by sea in January. EFE