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Canary Islands named as possible new location for telescope project

The Canary Islands could be getting a new addition in the form of one of the world’s biggest telescope projects.
It would mark one of the biggest scientific ventures the Canaries have seen.
The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) was originally meant to be located in Hawaii, but it has encountered opposition from indigenous groups who say that the proposed site is sacred.
Originally set to be positioned on Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano in Hawaii, the TMT is a $1.4 billion (£1.1 billion) project that is intended to give experts the chance to study the early universe and the atmospheres of exoplanets.
The TMT international observatory board of governors has suggested that because of the problems with building the telescope in Hawaii, it could be placed in the Canary Islands instead.
Henry Yang, chair of the board, said: “The TMT international observatory (TIO) board of governors has explored a number of alternative sites for TMT. Every site we considered would enable TMT’s core science programmes.
"After careful deliberation, the board of governors has identified Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (ORM) on La Palma in the Canary Islands, Spain, as the primary alternative to Hawaii.”
He went on to say: "Mauna Kea continues to be the preferred choice for the location of the Thirty Meter Telescope, and the TIO board will continue intensive efforts to gain approval for TMT in Hawaii."
If approval cannot be gained for the site in Hawaii, it looks highly likely that the Canary Islands will benefit. The TMT is being opposed through the court system. Protestors have also been blocking the road to the construction site in Hawaii.
In December 2015, the Hawaii State Supreme Court rescinded a construction permit granted in 2011. The judge in the case said that those who opposed the construction of the TMT had not been given a chance to have their case heard.
Many experts now expect the TMT not to go ahead in Hawaii, which means that the Canary Islands have a very good chance at being selected as the new location. This would mean that a new group of scientists would be descending on La Palma.
With new people arriving in the Canary Islands, there would likely be new opportunities presented elsewhere. Local businesses would likely see more sales and higher profits, with La Palma’s potential as a science and technology hub possibly drawing more people in.
The observatory already present on the island is home to one of the most extensive fleets of telescopes anywhere in the world. Researchers often visit the facility.
When these researchers typically spend months at a time in the Canary Islands, they will often rent a home for the period they are there instead of staying at a hotel. This makes the idea of owning a property there a very attractive one.
If you are considering buying a house in the Canary Islands, Currencies Direct could help you make the process much easier by transferring your money over.


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