Thursday, 18 August 2011

Astronomy on Mauna Kea

It seems those of us who work in the field of astronomy are nothing other than industrialists and/or working for the military. We're also addicts needing a 12-step recovery programme and are quite violent given this particular rant:

Big Island Chronicle letter

Nothing could be further from the truth of course, but this is a typical example of opposition to the TMT on Mauna Kea.

It seems to me that it's an argument about returning to the stone age versus understanding our universe and it'll be interesting to see who wins in the end.


Anonymous said...

Like you, I believe in progress. Let's not get stuck in the Stone Age!

Anil P said...

The picture is so beautiful, the way the clouds are aligned, flaring up in unison.

Just curious: how high is the mount that it is possible to see the cloud formations in this manner?

Tom said...

gigi - I hope we don't get stuck in the stone age, I think we're well beyond that now! Trouble is many people seem to want the human race to go back there. If I had the time I'd post a lot more about this (e.g., vaccinations) but am just too busy these days. Maybe one day.

Anil - so nice of you to pop by! The mountain (Mauna Kea) is 14,000 ft high. Ususally the clouds are well below us but occasionally we get summit-level clouds and the scenes are always interesting when that happens!

PS. My consolations to the Indian cricket team, but I hope you understand how happy I am with England's rather comprehensive win in the recent Test series. I've waited two or three decades to see an England test team as good as this one.

japan said...

Progressing humanityʻs knowledge is good. But only if it actually done for humanity.

Perhaps the argument is more about returning to the days of colonialism versus understanding our universe.

1898, was not only the "annexation" of Hawaiʻi, but also the U.S. invasion of the Philippines, Cuba and Puerto Rico. A legacy that killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in the Philippines. The Hawaiian invasion that happened at the same time was more peaceful of course. If Hawaiians had suffered that many casualties there would be no Hawaiians left!

That being said, to use land that is legally and/or morally belonging to someone else without properly asking does seem a bit stone aged.