The TMT International Observatory will be the largest telescope in the North Hemisphere when completed. Locals have been constantly trying to stop its construction because it will negatively impact the ecosystem and defile Mauna Kea mountain, which is sacred for natives. In 2015, protestors closed the road to the site before construction works begin. Legal disputes have lasted for about 10 years.
However, David Ige, Governor of Hawaii, recently announced that a final decision to realize the project has been made and the construction works will initiate on Monday, July 15, 2019. The roadway that leads to the top of the mountain, where the observatory will be constructed, will close and equipment will be delivered to the site. “We have followed a 10-year process to get to this point,” Governor Ige stated.
Nevertheless, opponents of the attempt stated that they will keep fighting against the project even if this means they will be arrested. Governor Ige stated that unarmed security forces will assure the transportation of the equipment and the road closures but they will not use law enforcement during the expected protests. "We just are asking people to be safe...we certainly would ask that they be respectful of those who have to work on this project. We certainly are being respectful of those who choose to voice their disagreement with the project — we understand that that's important as well," Mr. Ige said.
According to experts, the Mauna Kea mountain summit is the ideal location to establish the giant telescope as it provides an exceptional view of the sky with little pollution. Scientists believe that the telescope can result in amazing insights to better understand the behavior of the universe.
The Telescope will probably use the "world’s most advanced camera", also known as Darkness, a device that will boost scientists' efforts in search of extraterrestrial life.