Home Universe Thirty Meter Telescope May Be Installed in Ladakh

Thirty Meter Telescope May Be Installed in Ladakh

by Sankalan Baidya
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World’s Largest Telescope which goes by the name TMT or Thirty Meter Telescope may come to India. This telescope’s original home was Hawaii’s Mauna Kea. Unfortunately, the locals of that area protested against its installation. Naturally the project got delayed and now the program partners have started a hunt for a new home. The possible contenders here are Hanle, Chile and India. If the TMT lands in India, it will possibly be installed in Ladakh.

About the Thirty Meter Telescope

The proposal for this Thirty Meter Telescope was proposed by the scientists back in 1990s, However, because of the lack of technology, the work didn’t start on it. Eventually, University of California has started working on its design. The TMT will consist of 492 mirrors and the finished product will weigh about 1430 tons. It will also be as tall as a 20-storied building. The telescope will be world’s largest infrared and optical telescope.

Scientists are hopeful that since the TMT will be capable of capturing very faint light, it will allow the scientists to look billions of years back in the past. In such a scenario, scientists are hopeful that they will get a clearer understanding of our universe’s origin. Also, they will be able to understand more about dark matter.

Thirty Meter Telescope and Hawaii Problems

Program Director for Thirty Meter Telescope, Mr. Bacham Eswar Reddy stated in a statement he gave to PTI that the construction was supposed to start in 2015. The chosen and still preferred site is Hawaii’s Mauna Kea. All work however, has been stalled because Mauna Kea’s Supreme Court passed a decision. The decision was to revoke the permit for the telescope construction based on procedural grounds.

Mr. Reddy stated that the agencies of the State of Hawaii are currently working on the process of getting the permit in accordance with procedural rules set by the Supreme Court. TMT project authorities, according to Mr. Reddy, are in direct consultation with the holder of land lease – the University of Hawaii. Other agencies are also involved in the consultation process. According to Mr. Reddy, Mauna Kea is the first preferred destination for the construction of the telescope.

About the Thirty Meter Telescope Project

The Thirty Meter Telescope project is not undertaken by a single country. In fact, there are 5 countries involved in the project – India, USA, Canada, Japan and China. The whole project is under the mentorship of Ministry of Science and Technology and Department of Atomic Energy. The project on completion is destined to be world’s largest telescope. Currently the title is being held by another telescope named Keck. TMT is supposed to be 9 times as powerful as Keck and 3 times as big as Keck. Upon finalization of the location for installation, it will take about 18 months to 24 months for the completion of this new telescope.

Effects of Thirty Meter Telescope On the Place It Will Be Installed

Whichever location gets selected for the Thirty Meter Telescope, it will be greatly beneficial to that place. Not only will it mean development of the entire region but will also increase employment opportunities.

Since the primary target is northern hemisphere, a Ministry of Science and Technology official stated that the domestic program of the country in this particular field will get a boost. It will also become an inspiration for future generation of scientists. According to the official, this telescope will help the country to gain expertise in high-end technologies which will be state-of-the-art.

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