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March 02, 2011

One of the Most Powerful Telescope in the World to be built in Hawaii

After a lengthy process, the TMT telescope has finally been approved to be built on Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The $1.3 billion telescope is highly anticipated because not only will it be one of the most powerful telescopes in the world, but it will measure in a variety of wavelengths, from IR to UV.
It will have a 98 foot primary mirror, that will enable the TMT to reach nine times the light-collecting power of existing telescopes operating in optical and IR wavelengths today.
Construction is supposed to begin by 2012 and studies using the telescope should be able to start in 2020.


Posted by stoneswt at March 2, 2011 06:44 PM


This must be a really controversial topic; there is the argument of dramatic advancement in technologies, research and science versus the issue of conserving such a sacred landscape like Mauna Kea. Even TMT acknowledged that they expect to observe "substantial, significant and adverse" impacts on the surrounding environment.

Also, aren't there already a dozen telescopes in the area? There is also the argument of why not invest in developing those telescopes rather than building another?

The telescope will build a great reputation for Hawaii by having a telescope like this.

Posted by: aarthi at March 6, 2011 09:56 AM

I agree with the comment above. I'm surprised they got approved to put it on Mauna Kea where land is very scarce and not in, for example, Arizona. Also, it is interesting to see the timeline for all of this happening. Eight years seems like a long time for studies to start, but I'm sure it will make exciting discovers. The scope of it seems very intense, and its neat to learn that it can see IR to UV light rays!

Posted by: ninagav at March 7, 2011 09:37 PM

I have to agree with what everyone has said here. I don't know much about Mauna Kea, but why here?? It just seems like an odd place to put a(nother) telescope. Are there any advantages to putting the telescope in Hawaii, instead of a different state? From what I read of the article, this telescope has all kinds of amazing capabilities. But does it have to be in Hawaii for the full extent of these capabilities to be carried out?

Posted by: kailjoyb at March 8, 2011 12:11 AM

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