Over the summer, Native Hawaiians began a protest over the soon-to-come Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on the summit of the sacred mountain, Mauna Kea. Native Hawaiians believe the top of the mountain is where the sky god, Wakea, and the earth goddess, Papa Hanau Moku, created the islands. Other sacred sites are located on the mountain including a cemetery and hallowed lake. There are many telescopes already located on Mauna Kea and protesters do not wish for Mauna Kea to be destroyed further, as the construction of the telescope will destroy some of the landscape. They are also concerned with the claim that the TMT will be the last telescope built on the mountain as this claim has been made in the past. Other Native Hawaiians disagree with the protesters and believe the construction of the TMT should begin saying it will help the economy. Many scientists are angered over the protests citing the numerous hours of scientific study already lost. Conditions on Mauna Kea are favorable for telescopes which is why the site was chosen.
By Amira Pierotti