World’s Strongest Telescope Construction Faces Legal Woes
The assembly of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), a $1.4 billion observatory that is expected to exceed the Hubble Telescope's power by twelvefold, has been suspended after the Supreme Court of Hawaii voided its construction permit.
According to the court, the state of Hawaii failed to hear the positions of the Native Hawaiians before giving the green light to TMT's construction. ence, the permit issued by the Board of Land and Natural Resources must be immediately revoked. The observatory's construction site sits by the summit of Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano that is believed to be a home of deities, according to Hawaiian religion.
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The ruling highlighted that the state must value concerns from the indigenous people, who filed the lawsuit and brought themselves to the vicinity of the construction site to protest the billion-dollar project.
"Mauna Kea is an origins place. It is not a realm for mankind, but a realm where we go to learn the ways of the heavens," Kealoha Pisciotta, a spokeswoman for the native Hawaiian organization Mauna Kea Anaina Hou, told Gizmodo. She said that building a man-made structure in the area is one, big desecration of Hawaiian culture and tradition.
"For the Thirty Meter Telescope folks, this is a moment of reckoning," said science historian Leandra Swanner of Arizona State University. "The TMT activists feel that justice has been served. But I don't think it's the end of the story."
Indeed, the billion-dollar ambitious project initiated by Japan, India, China, Canada, and the United States could still reach completion should the Hawaiian Supreme Court reverse its decision after reviewing the TMT project's appeal. The TMT directors revealed that they are yet to submit their plea.
"We thank the Hawaii Supreme Court for the timely ruling and we respect their decision. TMT will follow the process set forth by the state, as we always have. We are assessing our next steps on the way forward. We appreciate and thank the people of Hawaii and our supporters from these last eight-plus years," Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory Board of Directors Chairman Henry Yang said in a statement.
The completion of the TMT telescope would allow astronomers to look into distant corners of the universe and explore new cosmic landscapes, which is essential in discovering many unknown facts about its infancy stage. Discovering the real origin of the universe has been the obsession of astronomers not only because it would give us understanding of our existence but also it is believed to be a one rung ladder progress in determining if there's another life beyond earth.
Just recently, the astronomical world was shaken with the invention of the Santilli Telescope, an antimatter-detecting and recording optical instrument invented by revered mathematician Ruggero Maria Santilli of Thunder Energies Corporation (OTCQB: TNRG).
This is the first time in history that an optical instrument has allowed human beings to see the physical nature of antimatters. Antimatters' existence has been the subject of debate among scientists since the beginning of 19th century, as early studies showed that they could be nonexistent as they couldn't be detected. The closest to finding its verity was Paul Dirac's Nobel-winning, eponymous antimatter-proving equation.
Meanwhile, NASA has announced that its very own James Webb Telescope is now on the final assembly stage. This means that the world's biggest telescope could be utilized by the space agency anytime soon now. The JWT is expected to be launched by 2018, according to NASA.