HONOLULU (AP) — After years of protests and legal battles, Hawaii officials have announced that a massive telescope which will allow scientists to peer into the most distant reaches of our early universe will be built on a volcano that some consider sacred.
Gov. David Ige said Thursday that the state has issued a “notice to proceed” for the Thirty Meter Telescope project.
In October, a state Supreme Court’s 4-1 ruling upheld the project’s permits for the $1.4 billion instrument.
Opponents say the telescope will desecrate sacred land atop Mauna Kea, the state’s highest peak and a place of religious importance to Native Hawaiians.
Scientists say the summit is one of the best places on Earth for astronomy. Several telescopes and observatories are already on the summit.