There’s much left to be discovered and explored in space. This requires more telescopes, hence why Hawaii will begin work on the Thirty Meter Telescope in 2014.
Astronomers and scientists say that on average, there are around 100 billion stars in the Milky Way, the galaxy that Earth inhabits. Then, in the Universe there are around 100 billion more galaxies, each containing approximately 100 billion stars of their own. And then there are the planets. We only know those in our Solar System, but there are likely millions more in existence, each with their own chances of sustaining life, light and vitality. Experts are lucky enough to be aware of these figures, but they haven’t even scratched the surface of what each astro-wonder contains and it’s for that reason that they need more and more telescopes positioned around the globe just to see these parts of our universe, in order for them to at least put names to them.
The latest in these all important telescopes is a telescope called the ‘Thirty Meter Telescope’. Its name comes from its sheer size as the telescope sits at 30 meters in diameter (which is around 98 feet) and is therefore far more capable to look at the universe than any of its peers. Much larger than any existing telescope (only rivalled by the European Extremely Large Telescope which is currently in production), the Thirty Meter Telescope has been in development for over a decade now, with difficulty in procuring land on its proposed site, Mauna Kea, an active volcano in Hawaii, hindering its progress thus far. However, in 2014, construction on the Thirty Meter Telescope is finally set to begin.
While construction is reportedly not set to begin for an entire year, with April 2014 being the start date, the fact that development has gotten this far, thanks to the granting of a permit from Hawaii’s Board of Land and Natural Resources, is very promising.
Once it’s been built, the Thirty Meter Telescope will include both an optical and infra-red telescope, which allows it to observe both visible light and things that are not visible to the human eye. It will also be three times as sharp as other telescopes in existence, allowing us to look at light that is 13 billion years old and it can even allow astronomers to look at far off planets as well as planets that are still being created.
While the Thirty Meter Telescope is a good while off, the things it could discover sound very exciting indeed. We’ll keep you posted on its development.
Source : Thirty Meter Telescope