A Canadian company is seeking to build the world’s largest telescope — the size of a football field — on Mauna Kea.
The Thirty Metre Telesope (TMT) would be 3X larger than the world’s largest scope which is already on the summit.
No doubt this will unleash the floodgates of protest where native groups already object to the current telescopes on the sacred summit.
A press release notes the telescope would cost $1 Billion and the telescope without its enclosure would be over a football field in size and thus would require an enclosure the size of a football stadium.
The scope is to be built in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. Officials are also considering sites in Mexico and Chile.
The site for the scope has not totally be determined but officials f0r AMEC hope to have the site determined by 2008 and construction to be concluded by 2015.
AMEC and fifteen Canadian universities belonging to the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy (ACURA) have been actively working on the initial planning stages. Their efforts are being combined with those of the National Research Council, the US-based Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, the California Institute of Technology, and the University of California
TMT will shed light on many cosmic mysteries, including dark matter and dark energy which comprise 95% of the universe. This mammoth telescope will study black holes and how they affect galaxies, including the one in the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way. Furthermore, it will have sufficient angular resolution to study the formation of planets as they grow in disks round young stars.