Artist rendering of Thirty Meter Telescope

Artist rendering of Thirty Meter Telescope

UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang & Co. Building $1.4 Billion Telescope

Thirty Meter Telescope Will Sit Atop Hawaii’s Mauna Kea Volcano

Tuesday, March 25, 2014
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UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang is at the helm of a project to build one of the largest and most powerful optical telescopes on earth. The University of California Regents agreed last week to allow the UC System to join financial forces with Caltech and international astronomy groups in constructing a $1.4 billion telescope — known as the Thirty Meter Telescope — atop Hawaii’s Mauna Kea volcano. Yang, who has served as a chairman of the board overseeing the project since 2007, said that the new telescope will give astronomers the ability to measure the physical properties of the first stars and galaxies to form after the Big Bang and map the evolution of the universe from 13 billion years ago. Each UC campus will contribute to the fundraising effort, but officials said tuition revenue will not be used. The project will break ground later this spring and be in full operation by 2022.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Is this being funded with student tuition money?

Georgy (anonymous profile)
March 25, 2014 at 11:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

sometimes reading the article helps.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
March 25, 2014 at 11:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Money is fungible, the article is inaccurate.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
March 25, 2014 at 11:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)

hoo-ray! Glad to see them NOT spending the money on their own houses. Guess that's what student tuition is for. Buying a telescope for study is appropriate use of student tuition.

spacey (anonymous profile)
March 25, 2014 at 1:38 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Oh, no! A university engaged in scientific research! Let's find a reason to complain about it!

Nockamixon (anonymous profile)
March 25, 2014 at 2:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

OK, why not rely on the Hubble which is out in space? The fundraising could be used to lower tuition costs for lower-income undergrads.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
March 25, 2014 at 3:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Impossible. Tuition costs only go up, never down.

And there's no inflation, right?

Botany (anonymous profile)
March 25, 2014 at 6:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The 30-meter aperture permits the telescope to focus more sharply than smaller telescopes by using the power of diffraction of light. The large aperture also collects more light than smaller scopes, allowing images of fainter objects. TMT will therefore reach further and see more clearly than previous telescopes by a factor of 10 to 100 depending on the observation.

In addition to providing nine times the collecting area of the current largest optical/infrared telescopes (the 10-meter Keck Telescopes), TMT will be used with adaptive optics systems to allow diffraction-limited performance, i.e., the best that the optics of the system can theoretically provide. This will provide unparalleled high-sensitivity spatial resolution more than 12 times sharper than what is achieved by the Hubble Space Telescope. For many applications, diffraction-limited observations give gains in sensitivity that scale like the diameter of the mirror to the fourth power, so this increase in size has major implications.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
March 25, 2014 at 6:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

tabatha (anonymous profile)
March 25, 2014 at 6:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

and the light pollution, which will grow??

DrDan (anonymous profile)
March 25, 2014 at 7:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Too bad he can't use that big telescope to see that we need that money more here.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
March 25, 2014 at 9:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

DrDan: Per your concerns about light pollution, there is something being done about it. This organization is the Gold Standard of dealing with this issue, which can be successfully addressed:

billclausen (anonymous profile)
March 25, 2014 at 9:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Too bad it won't allow the Chancellor to see the forest for the trees. The amount of violent crime taking place over the past few years in IV is unacceptable and the University has a moral obligation at the very least to insure that violent gang rapes and home invasions are not causing Clery Alerts to go out every single weekend.

DarkMarcsun (anonymous profile)
March 26, 2014 at 8:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

DM, just how is the university supposed to do what you suggest? Seriously, I'd like to know. A campus cop on every block in I.V., 24/7? No thanks to that, but thanks just the same.

GregMohr (anonymous profile)
March 26, 2014 at 9:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)

as a UC grad, I'm proud of this endevor. I think the UC should invest as much as possible in scientific research. I believe over time if UC schools become "dorky nerd schools" (i.e. MIT, etc.) there will be less attraction for students more interested in gang rape than gang statistics.

SB2SB (anonymous profile)
March 26, 2014 at 10:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Right on to SB2SB! -From a member of the Class of '76

GregMohr (anonymous profile)
March 26, 2014 at 1:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hubble has out-lived it's mission, barely. They wanted to cut the funding and let it float where it may a few years ago. This project will be much easier to maintain considering it's on the planet, on an island surrounded by vast ocean to ease those light pollution worries.

spacey (anonymous profile)
March 26, 2014 at 2:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

despite my misgivings, I support UC's research [and teaching!] focus as a member of Class of 1969 (sorry Greg, beat you there!).

DrDan (anonymous profile)
March 26, 2014 at 2:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Are you people living in the same Oligarchy as I am?

70sbartender (anonymous profile)
March 26, 2014 at 9:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Oh, and I am all in favor of building this telescope and any other scientific experiment that will give as much of a return as this example. Now if it will be paid for out of the UC campus' endowments, that would be fine, but something tells me it will, in a round about way, end up being paid for by the taxpayer. The ones who contribute the most revenue, the ones who spend every dime they make to make ends meet, and are taxed on every dime they make with a payroll tax, and again with a sales tax, a property tax, excise taxes, fuel 'surcharges' and more. Bully for UCSB, too bad they couldn't have built it on Santa Cruz Island.

70sbartender (anonymous profile)
March 26, 2014 at 10:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

you just realized this is an oligarchy?!

DrDan (anonymous profile)
March 27, 2014 at 1:44 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes, in cosmic time, I 'just realized this is an Oligarchy', the same goes for you my friend.

70sbartender (anonymous profile)
March 27, 2014 at 10:26 a.m. (Suggest removal)

If I may point out, UC employees are taxpayers too. I agree that this funding should come from external sources (donations, endowments, grants, et al.), and neither take away from basic undergraduate programs nor increase student fees. And, yes, I do work at UCSB for several months every couple of years, as a lecturer, paid academic minimum wage.

GregMohr (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2014 at 6:02 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Fantastic !

VioletFlame (anonymous profile)
April 7, 2014 at 8:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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