The annual Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) Science Forum brings together members of the international community to meet, collaborate, and plan for future TMT science programs. The Forum is the premier opportunity to learn about the status of the observatory, its instrumentation and adaptive optics systems, and to get involved in shaping the future of TMT. Continua a leggere Thirty Meter Telescope Science Forum
Near the center of Pasadena, California, a team of scientists, engineers, and project specialists is busily planning and designing what eventually will become the most advanced and powerful optical telescope on Earth. When completed later this decade, the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will enable astronomers to study objects in our own solar system and stars throughout our Milky Way and its neighboring galaxies, and forming galaxies at the very edge of the observable Universe, near the beginning of time. The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) is the next-generation astronomical observatory that is scheduled to begin scientific operations in 2021 on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, working under an international collaboration from US, Canada, Japan, China and India institutions. The date Friday, April 12th 2013 marked another important step forward for the future of astronomical discovery and economic opportunity on Hawaii Island. The Hawaiian Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) announced that it has granted a permit to the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project to build and operate the next-generation observatory near the summit of Mauna Kea.
With this approval, the BLNR has recognized TMT’s goal of responsible development and environmental stewardship of Mauna Kea in close partnership with local interests. The carefully considered conditions in the permit help ensure the protection of sensitive environments in Hawaii. “Over the last several years, the TMT project has welcomed the support it has received from all sectors of the Hawaiian community, from education to cultural to business to labor“, said Sandra Dawson, TMT’s Manager of Hawaii Community Affairs. “We look forward to beginning construction and becoming a neighbor of the outstanding observatories on Mauna Kea“. In February 2011, the BLNR issued a preliminary decision conditioned on the successful conclusion of a contested case. The contested hearings began later that year. The final approval followed a hearing held February 12, 2013 in Hilo, HI. At this time, the BLNR reviewed a report by the hearing officer regarding the contested case. “We are delighted that the TMT project has now been granted a Conservation District Use Permit“, said Edward Stone, the Morrisroe Professor of Physics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and vice chair of the TMT board. “The BLNR’s decision is a vote of confidence for TMT advancing science while benefitting the greater Hawaiian community“. TMT will now seek final approval of construction plans by Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). The project will also negotiate a sublease with the University of Hawaii. TMT plans to begin preparing the ground for construction on Mauna Kea before the end of the year with a construction start date slated for April 2014.