With the signing last week of a “master agreement” for the Thirty Meter Telescope
— destined to be the most advanced and powerful optical telescope in the world — the University of California and UCLA moved a step closer to peering deeper into the cosmos than ever before.
The agreement, signed by UC President Mark Yudof and several international partners, formally outlines the telescope project’s goals, defines the terms of its construction and establishes its governance structure, design and financing.
Work on the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), named for its 30-meter primary mirror — three times the diameter of the largest existing telescopes — is scheduled to begin in April 2014 atop Hawaii’s dormant Mauna Kea volcano. The TMT’s scientific operations are slated to start in 2022.