Monday, June 17, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Hawaii Dithers while Telescope Prepares to Build on Canary Islands
By News Release @ 5:02 AM :: 5540 Views :: Higher Education, OHA

TMT Alternative Site:

Executive Summary December, 2016


From February 2016 through October 2016, several potential sites for the TMT were evaluated to provide an alternative location for the observatory. Although Maunakea remains the preferred setting for building TMT, an alternate site is needed for the case that access to Maunakea is not possible in a timely way.

The site evaluation process was multi-dimension and included the astronomical properties of the sites for carrying out the TMT science mission, the legal arrangements for TIO to operate in the host country, processes and timescales for obtaining necessary permits, the schedule for initiation of construction, logistical issues for siting the observatory and transporting materials to the site, the cost to construct and operate the TMT at the site, and an evaluation of the risks to schedule and cost.

All of the alternative sites considered were excellent for carrying out the core science of the TMT and the interactions with potential host countries and organizations were uniformly very positive.

On October 31st, 2016, the TIO Board of Directors selected the ‘Observatorio del Roque de Los Muchachos’ (ORM), in La Palma, on the Canary Islands (Spain) as the alternate site for TMT. This decision was based on:

- The scientific importance for TMT to be located in the Northern Hemisphere and position itself as a unique facility.

  • A Northern Hemisphere TMT will secure full sky coverage to the worldwide astronomy community in combination with the two other ELT projects, both to be located in the Southern Hemisphere.

- The very good quality of the ORM site, which can support TMT core science programs.

- The range of benefits provided by the ORM site including:

  • Lower costs of construction and operations
  • Shorter timeline to initiate construction
  • Shorter timeline to ‘first-light’
  • Lower project risks based on existence of support infrastructure

Our study shows that the turbulence profile above ORM is similar in character to that of Maunakea, and only second among all five sites considered regarding Adaptive Optics (AO) performances. Using the ORM turbulence profile with our own performance model for NFIRAOS, TMT’s AO facility, we could demonstrate that the TMT will perform excellently in its diffraction-limited regime at ORM.

Nevertheless, the ORM site being lower in elevation and overall warmer than Maunakea, a lower sensitivity and efficiency is expected for the TMT at this location, particularly at thermal 4 wavelengths. If TMT is built on ORM, this concern will be addressed by implementing some operations adjustments to better optimize the science output of the TMT, mainly the use of a flexible scheduling of TMT science programs (to best adapt their execution to the ambient conditions), and a prioritization of the instrumentation suites combined with an aggressive instrument development plan (e.g. focus on AO-fed instruments, development of GL AO, or early deployment of high-resolution spectrographs).

Also, because there are various stories in the community regarding dust above the ORM site, an intensive analysis has been carried out by the TMT project. This study shows that the operational and scientific risks related to dust at ORM is well within the range of the other potential sites for TMT.

read … Full Report 

HTH: Moving ahead on La Palma; TMT International Observatory signs hosting agreement for backup site in Canary Islands

DC: Native Hawaiian Activists Could Force $1.4 Billion Telescope Out Of US

SA: “The true spirit of collaboration between (TMT) and Spain has been really uplifting.”

SA:  Canary Islands option appeals to TMT officials


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii