Context: 2020 Physics Nobel Laureate Prof. Andrea Ghez had worked closely with Indian astronomers on the design of back-end instruments and possible science prospects of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project.
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Prof. Ghez’s remarkable contribution in the discovery of a super massive compact object at the center of our Galaxy along with Prof. Roger Penrose and Prof. Reinhard Genzel won the Nobel prize in physics.
She was also part of the team working towards evaluating possible front-line science cases and instrumentation for TMT utilizing associated front-line cutting edge technologies like adaptive optics.
The Thirty-meter telescope (TMT) project
- It is an international partnership between CalTech, Universities of California, Canada, Japan, China, and India.
- The Thirty Meter Telescope is being designed and developed by the TMT International Observatory LLC (TIO).
- India has committed 10% of the project’s resources and Indian scientists are in turn guaranteed 10% of observation time on the TMT once it is ready.
- Objectives: The Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT) will become one of the world’s largest general-purpose observatories, allowing astronomers to study the outer reaches of the universe and study distant stars and exoplanets than much greater detail than is currently possible.
- The proposed site for the TMT, atop the dormant Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii, is also a sacred location for the island’s native population.
- Protests: The native population have been protesting the telescope’s construction since 2014.