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Biggest telescope may swap continents

One of the world's biggest telescope projects might be forced to move its location to a different continent. The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) was due to be built in Hawaii, but ran into opposition with indigenous groups which consider its proposed site sacred.
Now the TMT's board says a site in the Canary Islands, Spain, could act as a potential alternative.

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TMT Takes Step Towards Construction after Approval by the Board of Land and Natural Resources

Friday marked another important step forward for the future of astronomical discovery and economic opportunity on Hawaii Island. The Hawaiian Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) announced that it has granted a permit to the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project to build and operate the next-generation observatory near the summit of Mauna Kea.
With this approval, the BLNR has recognised TMT's goal of responsible development and environmental stewardship of Mauna Kea in close partnership with local interests. The carefully considered conditions in the permit help ensure the protection of sensitive environments in Hawaii.

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The Thirty-Meter Telescope Observatory will host the inaugural "TMT Science Forum" on July 22 and 23, 2013 at the Waikoloa Resort on the island of Hawaii. The TMT is an international project to build and operate a 30-m telescope located on Mauna Kea, HI. The program will consist of talks and workshop discussions exploring TMT science, first-light and future instruments, observatory operations, archiving and data products, key projects and cross-partnership collaborations, and astronomy education and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) opportunities.
There is no registration fee for the forum and all are welcome to attend.

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Thirty Meter Telescope - An International Collaboration

The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) represents the next generation of ground-based astronomical observatories. Driven by frontier science themes, TMT offers 10 times the light-gathering power of the largest existing ground-based optical/near-IR facilities and will produce images 10 times more detailed than the Hubble Space Telescope. With this tremendous increase in power, TMT will deliver as yet unforeseen, groundbreaking discoveries about the Universe. In short, TMT will herald a new generation of telescopes and will serve its partner communities as a flagship research facility.
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China and India are catapulting to the forefront of astronomy research with their decision to join as partners in a Hawaii telescope that will be the worlds largest when its built later this decade.
China and India will pay a share of the construction cost - expected to top $1 billion - for the Thirty Meter Telescope at the summit of Mauna Kea volcano. They will also have a share of the observation time. Its the first advanced telescope in which either nation has been a partner.

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A giant telescope planned for the summit of Mauna Kea will likely get a $150 million infusion in cash and high-tech equipment from India.
While no amount has been officially committed, India's contribution could be worth about $150 million, Thirty Meter Telescope spokeswoman Sandra Dawson said Tuesday.

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Mauna Kea telescope OK'd

Astronomy, Hawaiian cultural practices and economic realities were major themes yesterday as the state Board of Land and Natural Resources unanimously approved siting the 14th and biggest telescope to date atop Mauna Kea on Hawaii Island.
But the board also granted opponents' request for a contested case hearing on the Thirty Meter Telescope, giving them one last chance to make their case before a hearing officer and get a final review by the land board.

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TMT has made a commitment to develop a comprehensive community benefit package as part of its pledge to be an engaged corporate entity on Hawaii Island.
One of the key components of this community benefit package is the development of scholarships and other educational opportunities for Hawaii Island students and teachers, particularly in the core areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) across grades K-12, secondary and post-secondary education.

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India Joins Thirty Meter Telescope Project

The Minister of Science and Technology of India, Mr. Prithviraj Chavan, announced today the decision of India to join the Thirty Meter Telescope Project (TMT) as an Observer. TMT is the next-generation astronomical observatory that is scheduled to begin scientific operations in 2018 on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.
Observer status is the first step in becoming a full partner in TMT and participating in the engineering development and scientific use of what will be the worlds most advanced and capable astronomical observatory.

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The Thirty Meter Telescope project now has the approval of the Mauna Kea Management Board and the official signature of Gov. Linda Lingle.
The board, which manages land at the summit of Mauna Kea, unanimously voted Wednesday to recommend the UH-Hilo chancellor approve the $1 billion telescope.

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