The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) got one step closer to realization this week, with the granting of a conservation district use permit by the Board of Land and Natural Resources of Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources. The permit gives the University of Hawai'i permission to build and operate TMT on the northern plateau of Mauna Kea; TMT will sublet the land from the University. The Board also granted a contested case hearing to be scheduled for a later date.
The core technology of TMT will be a 30-meter segmented primary mirror, which will give the telescope nine times the collecting area of today's largest optical telescopes and three-times-sharper images.
The TMT project is an international partnership among Caltech, the University of California, and the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy, joined by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Department of Science and Technology of India.
Written by Kathy Svitil