The Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory (TIO) seeks to advance scientific knowledge while fostering connection among the partner countries and their citizens, who represent over half the world’s population.
TIO’s collaborative model which has engaged the world’s talent and intellect, has revolutionized our understanding of our universe and therefore our understanding of ourselves and our place in it. The model has been adopted as an inclusive and scientific approach to address some of the world’s most complex scientific, philosophical, technological, and practical problems.
For tens of thousands of years humans have looked upward and tried to find meaning in what they see in the sky, trying to understand the context in which they and their world exists. As our level of knowledge grows, the next level of questions that arise require facilities with even greater capabilities to gather the observations needed to answer them. With each incremental step in capability, the resulting new questions require an even larger step in capability in order to be answered.
No single university, no single country, not even a whole continent has the knowledge and technological resources to build these facilities. Recognizing this, astronomers from the US, Canada, China, India and Japan, joined together to answer the key questions about the structure and evolution of the universe and to explore the enigmatic processes, environments and bodies that encompass the universe. Each of the countries is an intellectual partner in the endeavor, as well as bringing technical expertise. In some cases, partners have long experience in constructing telescopes and this effort will build on those past successes and lessons. In every partner’s case it is anticipated that technology and techniques will emerge that partners can share and apply for other efforts in their respective countries.