Proposal to Change Location of TMT
Why in News
India, a partner in the construction of Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), has requested that the project be moved out of the proposed site at Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano in Hawaii, USA.
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- India’s Proposal for Changing the Location:
- The TMT has been a litigious site since 2014. The project has not made any progress because of regular obstructions.
- The proposed site is considered sacred to indigenous Hawaiians, and already has too many observatories in the region.
- Alternate Site:
- The proposed alternate site to locate the telescope is the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (ORM) on La Palma in the Canary Islands, Spain.
- Reasons for Choosing Mauna Kea Initially:
- Mauna Kea in Hawaii is considered a superior site for telescope establishment because it offers best imaging possibilities, stable weather.
- Additionally, it also has the necessary infrastructure to manage telescopes as it already hosts several telescopes.
- India’s Role in TMT:
- India has committed $200 million, which is about a tenth of the proposed cost.
- The telescope needs 492 precisely polished mirrors and India is to contribute 83 of them.
- India, in 2020 stands to get 10% of the available slots. As the level of contribution determines the amount of viewing time, or slots, that the member-countries’ scientists get on the machine.
Thirty Metre Telescope
- The Thirty Metre Telescope (TMT) will enable scientists to study fainter objects in the universe, which gives information about early stages of evolution of the universe.
- It will also allow to see deeper into space and observe cosmic objects with unprecedented sensitivity.
- With its 30 m prime mirror diameter, TMT will be three times as wide, with nine times more area than the largest currently existing visible-light telescope in the world.
- The Thirty Metre Telescope is a joint venture (JV) involving following countries namely, USA, Japan, China, India and Canada.