Searching the skies (“Editor In Chief’s Notebook” column, November 2, 2018)

//Searching the skies (“Editor In Chief’s Notebook” column, November 2, 2018)

The Thirty Meter Telescope got some well-deserved good news this week when the Hawaii Supreme Court upheld the state Board of Land and Natural Resource’s decision to permit the project

A decision, one way or the other, has been a long time coming. BLNR approved the TNT’s use of the conservation district atop Mauna Kea last September, following a contested case hearing that ran from October 2016 to last July and included “44 days of testimony by 71 witnesses over five months,” according to a statement from the TMT. Protestors first interrupted a TMT ground breaking in 2014, and stalled construction from December 2015 on.

Don’t expect construction to begin immediately, TMT’s first job is to fulfill conditions of the conservation district use permit.

In case the legal drama surrounding TMT has caused you to forget what the scope is all about, the TMT is the product of astronomers from the United States, Canada, China, India and Japan. Its instruments will aid in the search for dark matter, measure the masses of neutron stars, even search for the light from the universe’s earliest stars and more.

With any luck, the years of delay will quickly be forgotten once the observations begin.

Read the full article here