TMT on the agenda at national astronomy conference in the islands

Updated: Jan. 6, 2020 at 2:00 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Some of the world’s top astronomers are gathering at the Hawaii Convention Center for the American Astronomical Society meeting.

An estimated 3,000 astronomers, educators, science writers and enthusiasts are attending the five-day conference.

The stalled Thirty Meter Telescope project was at the forefront of some conversations this weekend.

Kalepa Baybayan, the Imiloa Astronomy Center’s navigator, hopes the event will allow astronomers from abroad to learn more about the local conflict.

“I think this association is the thinktank of the best astronomy minds and I would hope the best cultural minds on the issue of Mauna Kea and I’m just hopeful that a good conversation that will benefit all sides will take place here,” said Baybayan.

West Hawaii Today reports that Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim plans to meet with the governor and TMT officials this week.

Meanwhile, the conference is bringing in an estimated $14.1 million in statewide visitor spending, according to Convention Center officials.

The convention will run through Wednesday.

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