TMT will probably not go to India

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An Indian astronomer, in testimony to India’s parliament, has explained that for engineering and technical reasons India will likely not be the new location of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT).

Essentially, the skies are clearer in the Canary Islands and in Chile.

This story is important in that it confirms that the consortium building TMT is now very seriously considering abandoning Hawaii, and might already have decided to do so. It also suggests that the Canary Islands is in the lead as the new location, since they want a site that can see the skies of the northern hemisphere, something that won’t be possible in Chile.


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  • Nick P

    Bob, I would think northern hemisphere exposure would be an absolute must, no?

    Other than the Canaries, is there another option?

  • One article I linked to previously mentioned Baja in Mexico, but that would be a first for a telesope there. Other than that, the Canaries are looking like they will win the job.

  • Dick Eagleson

    Any notion of what the timeline is likely to be on the final siting decision?

  • Nick P

    Gordon Moore, who made a large contribution to kick off the TMT, also contributed heavily to buying up parts of Baja for conservation. I wonder if he bought up any mountains???

  • Localfluff

    Atacama, Chile, is located at 19° south and since the axial tilt is 23°, all of the sky is visible from there sometime during the year.

  • Nick P


    I see your point but some areas will be viewed through a lot of atmosphere. So yes, the north would be visible but not under optimal conditions.

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