Is there life on planets outside our solar system? How did stars and galaxies form in the earliest years of the universe? How do black holes shape galaxies? Scientists are expected to explore those and other fundamental questions about the universe when they peer deep into the night sky using a new telescope planned for the summit of Hawaii's tallest mountain. But the Thirty Meter Telescope is a decade away from being built. And Native Hawaiian protesters have tried to thwart the start of construction by blocking a road to the mountain. They say installing yet another observatory on Mauna Kea's peak would further defile a place they consider sacred. The large size of the telescope's mirror means it would collect more light, allowing it to see faint, far-away objects such as stars and galaxies dating back as long as 13 billion years. Hundreds of demonstrators are gathered at the base of Hawaii's tallest mountain to protest the construction of a giant telescope on land that some Native Hawaiians consider sacred. Groups of activists sang and prayed at the base of the mountain on Sunday afternoon. They declared the area, which is well off the highway at the intersection of the mountain's access road, a place of refuge and safety.