TMT has a plan B for the location to build a giant telescope

TMT has a plan B for the location to build a giant telescope


Syndicate of scientists, looking forward to building a massive optical telescope. Initially, the group had planned to build it on the tallest peak in Hawaii have changed it to the Canary Islands. The reason for the change of location was due to protests by residents in Hawaii. For several weeks’ protestors have attempted to delay initiation of construction on the site. These people oppose the building of the instrument as they consider it as a sacred volcano. According to several astronomers, the thirty-meter telescope will have a lot better resolution compared to Hubble Space Telescope. Recently, executive director of TMT spoke about building the telescope on the Canary Islands was a plan B. The company may have had an idea about the resistance that could be faced from natives if it was to be built on Hawaii. The preferred site for the project was Mauna Kea on Hawaii.

Kealoha Pisciotta, who was leading the protest, told the press that ones who resist this project are not anti-science. Protestors insisted that construction of this project in Spanish archipelago would be a win-win situation for all.

Rafael rebolo, Canary Islands Astrophysics Institute Director told that he had received a letter regarding permission to build the telescope on La Palma island. He has shown full support for the project by TMT and offered to help. Minister of science from Spain had previously mentioned that the officials from Canary Islands would provide full support. Mauna Kea was very remote, which protects it from light pollution in the neighborhood. Also, dry air at the location makes it an ideal place for the project. Already 13 telescopes are housed in several facilities at the site.

Planning for the thirty-meter telescope began ten years back, in 2009. The permit was granted in 2011, but the project was halted in 2014 due to protests. In November, the Supreme court of Hawaii approved the construction of TMT. The project is backed by an international partnership including USA, Canada, China, India, and Japan. Vanessa Romo, political reporter for National public radio report recently that almost 300 protestors tried to halt the construction once again.