The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) holds the potential for discoveries that will benefit not just the international science community, but all of humankind. Once completed, the TMT will be the most advanced and powerful optical telescope on Earth and has the potential to transform the study of the universe. The TMT will enable astronomers to study objects in our own solar system and stars throughout our Milky Way and its neighboring galaxies, as well as galaxies forming at the very edge of the universe.
In 2003, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation provided an investment of $50 million towards designing TMT, and in 2007 pledged an additional $200 million towards completion of the design phase and supporting early construction near the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. With multiple countries also supporting the project, the TMT represents an international collaboration of scientific and academic organizations from around the world. Scientific operations are scheduled to begin in 2021.