“To many, it is a sacred and religious place. Primary mirror with 492 segments aligned and phased on sky with APS, M2 and M3. For much of the indigenous population in Hawaii, sacredness is not just a concept ― it’s a feeling of connectedness with nature and spirit, particularly when it comes to Mauna Kea. More legal challenges to TMT started at the Hawaii Supreme Court in August. David Ige and the Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory (TIO) announce that construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will begin the week of July 15, 2019. Technology or tradition? Tensions over the telescopes atop Mauna Kea are nothing new. The primary mirror phasing system is fully integrated to the observatory and ready for operations. In 2008, the TMT corporation selected two semi-finalists for further study, Mauna Kea and Cerro Amazones. Thirty Meter Telescope will supply much needed employment opportunities and possibilities for businesses to assist TMT’s development, operations and maintenance. All rights reserved. Opposition to the project began shortly after the announcement of Mauna Kea as the chosen site out of 5 proposals. “It is a telescope, to look into the very origins of life and the universe.”. In 2000, astronomers began considering the potential of new, state-of-the-art telescopes as large as 30 meters in diameter. In contemporary use, we often see Mauna Kea used as two words ― but many Hawaiian language experts actually believe it’s just one. OHA trustee Dan Ahuna has said this debate is not about a single telescope. Gov. Under the proposal, the foundation would contribute $850 million each to the Thirty Meter Telescope and the Giant Magellan Telescope. The Keck telescope was the first segmented mirror telescope. Major funding has been provided by the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation. The Observatory facility building is complete. Early Universe, Galaxy Formation and the IGM, Stars, Stellar Physics and the Interstellar Medium, Multi-Object Diffraction-limited High-Resolution Infrared Spectrograph (MODHIS), TMT International Science Development Teams, https://www.maunakeaandtmt.org/get-the-facts. By Lorin Eleni Gill – Reporter, Pacific Business News . Demonstrators blocked access to Mauna Kea's summit to prevent construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope from July through December. Yet despite the observatories, and the fact that it receives thousands of visitors every year, the mountain remains a special place for native Hawaiians and many others. “They have not listened to the Hawaiian people and the cries that this is a sacred mountain,” said Ritte. ‘Conflict on Mauna Kea,’ a timeline exploring the history of tension over the Thirty Meter Telescope By HNN Staff | July 12, 2019 at 5:20 PM HST - Updated July 12 at 5:24 PM Thirty Meter Telescope will supply much needed employment opportunities and possibilities for businesses to assist TMT’s development, operations and maintenance. It’s also likely based on a myth associated with the often snow-covered summit: that Maunakea literally means “white mountain.”. The holidays are usually a time for happiness and gratefulness. The challenges eventually led to the construction permit being revoked, when the justices found that the state’s permitting process was flawed. Today’s problem of this Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) that was planned in the year of 2012 with the intentions of having the world’s largest telescope to be built on Maunakea has caused physical, political, religion, and land issues that concerned the Hawaiian people why this telescope … But historians say the single-word version is actually short for Mauna a Wakea, the mountain's original name. While the state Land Department is in charge of overseeing conservation land, like Mauna Kea, the University of Hawaii has been leasing the land for their astronomy program since 1967. Its design calls for a dome that’s 180 feet tall, about the same height as Aloha Tower on Oahu. In March of 2015, the state gave the project the notice to proceed on construction, but later that month, demonstrators blocked the road to the summit and arrests were made. “It is also a place where some of our ancestors lay at rest.”. The university’s agreement with the DLNR allows them to sub-lease it to others. The public opinion poll conducted in March 2020 by Ward Research, Inc. shows that 61 percent of Hawaii residents support moving ahead with construction of TMT, with 32 percent opposed. Those events also inspired people to protest another telescope project on Haleakala on Maui. But this year, many are feeling defeated and forgotten about. Developers for the largest, the controversial Thirty Meter Telescope, apply for a permit to build in the summit conservation district from the BLNR in October 2010. Scientists claim the Thirty Meter Telescope will allow us to understand why we are here on this planet, and why the properties of the universe are the way they are. This is the beginning of another Waikiki up our sacred mountain.”. Those lasted into 2017. But the Hawaii Supreme Court overruled all legal opposition to the project in October of last year. They picked Mauna Kea in 2009, because it’s above about 40 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere. The TMT International Observatory LLC (TIO), a non-profit organization, was established in May 2014 to carry out the construction and operation phases of the TMT Project. Hawaii Governor David Ige is a supporter of the project. Enclosure is completed and ready to be shipped from Canada. Two projects with US leadership plan to build and operate ELTs in the next decade, one in the Northern hemisphere (the Thirty Meter Telescope, 30-meter in diameter), and the other in the Southern hemisphere (the Giant Magellan Telescope, 25-meter in diameter). Since mid-July 2019, Native Hawaiian protesters have been blocking the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Maunakea (also spelled Mauna Kea), the highest mountain in Hawaii. Scientist say it’s big enough that it can help scientists make the next leap in terms of our understanding of the physical universe, while not being so big as to be unbuildable. All Rights Reserved. Gov. In March of 2016, they selected La Palma in the Canary Islands as an alternative site, as a contested case hearing got underway. The secondary mirror is built and sent to the observatory, M1 cleaning system ready to ship to the observatory, The control system for the primary mirror is built and ready for integration. The Land Board approves UH’s “Comprehensive Management Plan,” a development plan which paves the way for an unlimited number of new telescopes and support structures. Power is generated on site and in its final form. Maunakea has some of the clearest views of the skies in the world, and it also is one of the most sacred places to Native Hawaiians. Enclosure base is complete and ready to accept the upper part of the dome. “We have followed a 10-year process to get to this point,” Governor Ige said. Once TMT selected Mauna Kea, the project began a regulatory and community process for approval. The results of a new scientific poll show Hawaii residents continue to support the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Maunakea by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. Anti-Thirty Meter Telescope demonstrations take place nationwide. What we’re against is them building it in this particular area, on this particular mountain,” said activist Kahookahi Kanuha, during a 2015 protest. What is sacred, against what is scientific ― and which is worth more to you? As the issue becomes more emotionally charged, there's no telling what we will see unfold in the coming days and weeks. In 2003, TMT officials started an extensive five-year scout of the sites at Mauna Kea, Chile and Mexico. The very next day, prayer altars that had been erected on the mountain were taken down. The parts of the new rules empowering Mauna Kea rangers to issue citations to violators are already in effect, Chun said. The Board of the Thirty Meter Telescope selected Maunakea in July 2009 after a rigorous five-year campaign spanning the entire globe that measured virtually every atmospheric feature that might affect the performance of the telescope. Copyright 2019 Hawaii News Now. But how you interpret that phrase depends on which position you align with. “Wakea,”sometimes translated as “Sky Father,” is considered the father of the Hawaiian people. But now enters the Thirty Meter Telescope, a proposed observatory with an extremely large telescope that has become the source of controversy over its planned location. Then came the announcement that construction will begin July 15th. Funding approval would trigger the creation of a federal environmental impact statement and National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 consultation, a process of two years or more. Go do your science, but don’t do it on our sacred mountain.”. “The date for construction to begin has arrived.”. M2 cleaning system ready to ship to the observatory, The coating chamber is built and ready to ship to the observatory, The fabrication of the telescope structure is completed in Japan and ready to ship to the observatory, The last segment blank is completed and sent for polishing, M3 cleaning system ready to ship to the observatory, The coating chamber for the secondary and tertiary mirrors is ready to be shipped to the observatory. In ancient times, the mountain’s summit was considered the realm of the gods. A Gray Media Group, Inc. Station - © 2002-2020 Gray Television, Inc. ‘Conflict on Mauna Kea,’ a timeline exploring the history of tension over the Thirty Meter Telescope. The mirror at that facility is made up of 36 segments, and they’re all locked together to make a single surface. Mauna Kea was announced as TMT's preferred site in 2009. The telescope enclosure started to be installed on the its base at the TMT site. During the 8- to 10-year construction timeline, TMT will create about 300 local and specialized construction jobs. © 2017 - TMT International Observatory. “This is not about Hawaiian culture vs. science,” Ahuna said. Scientists at the University of California and Caltech began the development of a design that would eventually become known as the TMT. Mauna Kea is likely based on an American English spelling variation, instead of traditional Hawaiian. In July 2009, Mauna Kea was selected. The dome’s diameter measures 216 feet, with a shutter ― the opening for the telescope to peer through ― measuring about 100 feet wide. “They were removed because they were located right where TMT is going to be constructed, so they had to be removed,” Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors said.