Canada invests nearly $250 M in international observatory project

April 8, 2015

Canada is investing close to $250 M to help build what will be reportedly be the world's most powerful optical telescope. Canada will contribute $243.5 M to the Thirty Meter Telescope project, to be located on the summit of Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii. Canada joins partners from Japan, India, China, and the United States in backing the initiative. Much of Canada's funding will support the construction of the telescope's enclosure and optical instruments, features that were designed by Canadian engineers and that will be fabricated in British Columbia. Construction of the observatory, which had been delayed pending the Canadian government's decision, can now begin in earnest. Researchers across the country applauded the announcement. "[It's] an amazing day for Canada," said Ray Calberg, an astronomer at the University of Toronto. Paul Davidson, President of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), said in statement that "this timely investment gives certainty to Canada's role in this globally important project." The 22-storey-tall observatory is expected to be operational in 2023. Toronto Star | National Post | UBC News Release