There were environmental and cultural concerns over Hawaii’s Thirty Meter Telescope but Board of Land and Natural Resources has granted an official land permit for the project recently.
The move clears an optical and near-infrared telescope with nine times the coverage area of its peers, and three times the sharpness. That’s enough to observe light from 13 billion years ago as well as put a heavy focus on tracking extrasolar planets, including planets in the making.
“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.”
Hopefully the giant project will peacefully settle down into the beauty that is Mauna Kea and bring us images from the early universe.
TMT construction starts April 2014.