Column: Maunakea vital to science of astronomy

//Column: Maunakea vital to science of astronomy

As the former director of the Institute for Astronomy of the University of Hawaii, and the current director of science of the European Space Agency, I would like to give an outside/inside view on the conflict about the Thirty Meter Telescope in Hawaii.

Maunakea on Hawaii Island is arguably the best site on the northern hemisphere to do astronomy. In the last half century there has hardly been an astronomical breakthrough where telescopes on Maunakea were not involved. Just consider black holes, dark matter, dark energy and the quest for life on planets around other stars — Maunakea has been at the forefront.

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