These controversies share many features in common, says Leandra Swanner, a science sociologist and historian at Arizona State University in Tempe. With twin 8.4-meter mirrors, the LBT is … Rising above the desert of southeast Arizona, Mount Graham is 10,720 feet high. The Vatican Observatory Research Group (VORG) operates the 1.8m Alice P. Lennon Telescope with its Thomas J. Bannan Astrophysics Facility, known together as the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT), at the Mount Graham International Observatory (MGIO) in southeastern Arizona where sky conditions are among the best in the world and certainly the Continental United States. Around the same time a Hawaiian lawsuit, largely brought by the same petitioners that now stands against the TMT, successfully prevented the construction of a quartet of small telescopes that had been proposed to accompany the existing W. M. Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea. Planners conducted a thorough environmental impact investigation, they held over 300 sessions with the community and they committed to payments of $3 million a year to lease the site and fund science, technology, engineering and math programs for students. Shannon Hall is an award-winning freelance science journalist based in the Rocky Mountains. I situate each history of conflict within Graham. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves. Many people are surprised to learn that the Vatican even has an observatory. He managed to annoy many astronomers in the USA, most of whom were not aware of the background actions of the biologists. Not affiliated In any case, the claim is irrelevant since Mount Graham occupies 198,000 acres, and the Mount Graham International Observatory (two present telescopes plus the LBT) requires 8.6 acres or only 0.004 percent of the mountain. The LUCIFER telescope conspiracy was originated by two conniving and enterprising cretins, Tom Horn and Cris Putnam, who could not make it in the already overcrowded Bible-thumping marketplace and instead branched out into the world of make believe and fantasy. “I think it's a model for federal agencies conducting business in areas where there are potential cultural concerns,” says Caroline Blanco, the assistant general council for the environment at the NSF. The observatory has had no effect on the squirrels, which under no rational definition could be considered endangered. They found themselves having to defend the value of astronomical observatories—projects they saw as self-evidently noble—to skeptical local communities. Mount Graham in southeastern Arizona is the sole home of the severely endangered Mount Graham Red Squirrel. Large Binocular Telescope atop Mount Graham in Arizona. Horn is an evangelical Baptist preacher who has authored a few books, each delving into a conspiracy of one sort or another. The Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) is an optical telescope for astronomy located on 10,700-foot (3,300 m) Mount Graham, in the Pinaleno Mountains of southeastern Arizona, United States.It is a part of the Mount Graham International Observatory.. These previous skirmishes share some illuminating similarities with the latest situation, revealing just how fraught astronomy can be when it clashes with local communities. Mount Graham telescope project-related activities recently destroyed nearly one-third of the squirrel's essential spruce-fir old growth forest home. The LBT, on the other hand, which required a larger plot of land and obscured the sacred peaks, faced 40 lawsuits, eight of which ended up before a federal appeals court. Against this backdrop, the TMT in the view of indigenous people is the latest episode of Western oppression on the islands. The wildfire burned more than 48,000 acres. Gary Bowman A spruce-fir forest at the summit is the home of the Mount Graham red squirrel. The first source of similarity dates back to before these projects were even conceived. In some cases, astronomers have learned from past examples to navigate construction projects more sensitively. Arizona Press, Tucson. © 2020 Scientific American, a Division of Springer Nature America, Inc. Support our award-winning coverage of advances in science & technology. These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. Peter Strittmatter, the president of the contentious Large Binocular Telescope, thinks the TMT will either be built as is or not at all. The latest fracas, however, bears some telling differences from past controversies, Swanner says. Tippeconic, R. 1989, Record of Decision and Forest Plan Amendments, Coronado National Forest, p. 54. The use of sacred American Indian land for the LBT seemed like one more encroachment on native land rights after centuries of infringements by European settlers going back to the 16th century. She specializes in writing about astronomy, geology and the environment. In the 2000s the Kitt Peak National Observatory, built on the tribal reservation of the Tohono O’odham Nation, became the site of another clash when the National Science Foundation (NSF) wanted to build a new $13-million telescope complex called VERITAS (Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System). Sage, L.J. Only about 200 survive. It was an obvious candidate, and in fact had been considered in the mid 1950’s as a possible location for the national observatory (which went to Kitt Peak). LBTO via Wikipedia. Over 10 million scientific documents at your fingertips. Mount Graham International Observatory 1480 W. Swift Trail Safford, AZ 85546. After the authors published Exo-Vaticana, the pope's top astronomer took to the airwaves and the Vatican Observatory official website to explain what is happening with new ET-friendly theology and the LUCIFER device at Mt. “They see what they're doing as progress, as scientific advancement, and certainly not as a regressive act that is aligned with the period of historic marginalization of native people,” Swanner says. Opponents of the telescope state that in a study of potential telescope locations, Mount Graham was ranked 37th in the nation – not that impressive. By Eric Burk. Part of Springer Nature. Graham, and the only American partner in the first telescopes is the University of Arizona. 2001, Unpublished manuscript submitted to the Research Corporation, Tucson (result of a 2.5-year investigation including over 30 interviews). The largest of the telescopes, named the Columbus telescope was completed in 1995, on Mount Graham. For the astronomers from University of Arizona the mountain was a prime location for their new observatory. Cite as. This dissertation examines the histories of conflict between Native, environmentalist, and astronomy communities over telescope construction at Kitt Peak, Maun a Kea, and Mt. Abstract. The squirrel was a focal point of a controversy related to installing the observatory on Mount Graham. Ultimately the matter was settled by legislation in the United States Congress, who instructed the United States Forest Service to issue a special-use permit to the University of Arizona to build three telescopes (the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope, the Submillimeter Telescope Observatory, and the Large Binocular Telescope). The highest mountain in Southern Arizona is Mount Graham (elevation: ∼10,800 feet, or ∼3,300m), which lies approximately 70 miles (110 km) Northeast of Tucson. Subscribers get more award-winning coverage of advances in science & technology. Hawaii, too, has a long history of Westerners wresting control of land from native Hawaiians and pursuing development projects to the detriment of the environment. Unable to display preview. Not logged in This is a preview of subscription content. In 1981 Steward Observatory was looking for a location on which to build new telescopes, in order to enhance its research programs. Environmental activists on Mount Graham, for example, included Earth First!—a group known to directly sabotage construction projects and lead violent rallies—whereas the Mauna Kea protest is taking place “in the spirit of ‘aloha,’” or peace, according to its leaders, meaning the activists do not stand against anyone, they simply stand for their mountain. It is what scientists call a "biologically unique area," for on its peaks live eighteen species and subspecies of plants and animals that exist nowhere else on earth. Kevin Newton, assistant building manager, takes a picture of the Frye Fire from the Large Binocular Telescope on Mount Graham. The current standoff between Native Hawaiian protesters and proponents of the planned Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) can take some lessons from similar disputes in the past. Mount Graham International Observatory 1480 W. Swift Trail Safford, AZ 85546. President Haeger attempts to obscure the fact that NAU is contributing to the extinction of an … The spruce-fir summit of Mount Graham is at least 900 acres in extent. The court’s decision is the most recent battle wound in a years-long contest between astronomers and native Hawaiians as well as environmentalists who oppose the construction because of the sanctity of the mountain. Environmental activists were also worried about the fate of the American red squirrel, which was on the verge of extinction. This service is more advanced with JavaScript available, Organizations and Strategies in Astronomy “TMT, to their credit, has done more than any other observatory I've researched in making all kinds of gestures to the local community and to, in particular, the native Hawaiian community,” Swanner says. New telescope options continuously become available. For the astronomers who see themselves as law-abiding citizens following terms of a lease that were laid down half a century ago, the “neocolonialist” characterization is alienating. Swanner predicts it will likely move forward but may look radically different from the current plans. 1986, Mammals of Arizona, Univ. For nearly two decades, the telescopes have been the subject of controversy due to their location atop Mount Graham, a site which the local San Carlos and White Mountain … Graham and the University of Arizona Astronomers. For more than 30 years, controversy has raged over Mount Graham, the highest spiritual place for all Apaches. In 1981 Steward Observatory was looking for a location on which to build new telescopes, in order to enhance its research programs. The first two telescopes (which were relatively small in size and already fully funded at the time of the protests) sped through construction. 2000, Letter from Forest Supervisor, Coronado National Forest, to Sage. AICA 1988, Public Law 100-696, signed by President Reagan (18 November 1988). “So environmentalists on the Mauna Kea side have fallen in with the principles of aloha more squarely then I would say the environmentalists in the Mount Graham case have adopted Apache principles in passive resistance.”, Lessons learned mountains of controversy. “I think it's just a good way to keep that dialogue going.”. The history of the Vatican Observatory goes back two and a half centuries. The Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT), located at the Mount Graham International Observatory in Arizona is named Lucifer. 5.250.245.2. Graham is where the Jesuits admit they are monitoring something approaching the earth. Graham from the mid-1970s to the present. Scientific American is part of Springer Nature, which owns or has commercial relations with thousands of scientific publications (many of them can be found at, Model Suggests Toxic Transformation on Venus, Babies' Mysterious Resilience to Coronavirus Intrigues Scientists, Biggest Ever Yellowstone Eruption Revealed. The National Science Foundation, for example, altered its tactics after it had to move VERITAS to a second-choice location. Mt. Dartmouth University, University of Wisconsin, University of Florida and Carnegie-Mellon University spurned Mount Graham and recently joined the huge 10.4-meter Canary Island telescope and the 9.1-meter Southern African Large Telescope (SALT). This decision sparked a controversy of science, religion, and environment. However it unfolds, the fate of the TMT will likely have repercussions on future standoffs around the world. Telephone from Safford Vicinity: (928) 428-2739 Telephone from Tucson: (520) 621-8650 Fax: (928) 428-2854 Father George Coyne, a Jesuit priest, astronomer, author and former director of the Vatican Observatory who was instrumental in bringing one of the world’s most sophisticated — and controversial — telescope arrays to the top of Mount Graham in Southern Arizona, died earlier this week. The Arizona Republic (Phoenix, Arizona) reports that the Jesuit Father Charles W. Polzer calls opposition to the construction of the telescope complex on top of Mount Graham “part of a Jewish conspiracy” and comes from the Jewish lawyers of the American Civil Liberties Union who are out to undermine and destroy the Catholic Church. In the summer of 2004 the Nuttall-Gibson complex burned over 30,000 acres (120 km²) in the Pinaleños. © Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003, Organizations and Strategies in Astronomy, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-010-0049-9_6. The same year, Steward Observatory’s Heinrich Hertz Submillimeter Telescope (SMT) also opened on Mount Graham. Federal Register, 1982, US Government Printing Office. The mountain was desecrated by the construction of a large astronomical observatory in which the Vatican and the Arcetri observatory participate. When the University of Minnesota (UM) Board of Regents pledged $10 million to support UM's astronomers buying into the controversial Mount Graham telescope project in 2002, Minnesota was dragged into an international conflict. Because I spend a part of my life involved with environmental protection issues and with Native American concerns, it is natural that I would be asked about my feelings on the development of Mt. Monsoon rains helped firefighters in their efforts. MOUNT GRAHAM – What can resemble a weapon right out of Star Wars is actually a tool to help scientists learn more about our universe, rather than destroy planets.. Common threads 5 hours ago — Michael J. Battaglia | Opinion, 9 hours ago — Michael Eisenstein and Nature magazine, Scientific American Space & Physics is a roundup of the most important stories about the universe and beyond. Hoffmeister, D.F. Kaplan, M. 2000, Letter from Coronado National Forest FOIA officer, to Sage. Download preview PDF. Although the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) at the Mt. ... Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act, thus resulting in the failure to immediately and permanently halt the telescope project. Last week Hawaii’s Supreme Court rescinded the construction permit for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), an estimated $1.4-billion observatory planned for Mauna Kea, the dormant volcano whose red dusted slopes rise 4,205 meters above the Pacific Ocean on the island of Hawaii. This story is not new, goes all the way back to 2010, but seeing as we have been spending some time talking about Judas, the betrayer of Jesus, I thought we should take a look at the counterfeit church that is also powered by Satan, the Roman Catholic Church. Nevertheless, we as a community must be prepared to explain in terms that non-astronomers can understand why more mountain tops should be devoted to astronomy. Telephone from Safford Vicinity: (928) 428-2739 Telephone from Tucson: (520) 621-8650 Fax: (928) 428-2854 In the late 1980s, for example, Mount Graham, in Arizona, saw a bitter fight between astronomers, who wanted to build three telescopes—the Heinrich Hertz Submillimeter Telescope, the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope and The Large Binocular Telescope (LBT)—and the San Carlos Apache Tribe, who perform religious ceremonies on the mountain. Other animals sharing this lofty habitat are the Mexican spotted owl and the Apache trout, both considered to be threat… The project has seen some opposition but has been allowed to move forward. Mount Graham The controversies surrounding Mount Graham in Arizona in the late 80’s to present day make us think about the “age-old” debate of religion v. science. The Large Binocular Telescope on Mount Graham is controversial, complex, expensive and beset by weather that kept it shuttered for half its available nights last year. And for both the TMT and the LBT debates, colonialism hangs heavily over the controversy. The controversy is nothing new: Mauna Kea is the latest in a long line of mountaintops that have become combat zones between scientists and activists. Although work on the telescope’s components has continued at sites outside Hawaii, whether and how the project will proceed is unclear. During its history, there has been some turmoil and several moves to escape the light and other hindrances that large cities, such as Rome, pose to doing astronomy. After more than decade of controversy and opposition by Apaches and environmentalists, two telescopes (the Vatican and the German) have been built upon Mt. The Large Binocular Telescope project on top of Mount Graham has brought about much controversy from Native American tribes and student environmentalist, which begs the question, "Why?" The highest mountain in Southern Arizona is Mount Graham (elevation: ∼10,800 feet, or ∼3,300m), which lies approximately 70 miles (110 km) Northeast of Tucson. (Mount Graham Coalition.) A little more than a decade later, the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) opened on Mount Graham. pp 75-91 | In 2005 the tribe successfully put a stop to the project, spurring the NSF to decide to build it elsewhere. According to the Jim Bakker Show, Putnam was a Christian apologist and theologian who croakedhas since passed awa… He was 87. During its current project to build the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope on the summit of Haleakala, the shield volcano that forms most of Maui, observatory leaders have held more than 30 meetings with activists and committed to payments of $2 million a year to University of Hawaii Maui College. Astronomers were therefore blindsided when, a few decades later, cultural tides had shifted and they met harsh opposition to the new projects. They pursued a strategy of finding an endangered species — the Mount Graham red squirrel — apparently with the purpose of blocking the telescopes. The firefighting cost … Therefore, more than a half-century ago the Vatican Observatory established a research group at the Steward Observatory … Ultimately the astronomy project—and the squirrel, whose fate was unaffected by the telescope—prevailed. The very qualities that make many sites valuable to science—remote locations far from city lights, summits soaring above a good chunk of the atmosphere and clear views that sweep from horizon to horizon—often also draw native worshippers who value mountains as spiritual homes of the gods as well as environmentalists aiming to protect the vulnerable ecosystems of pristine regions. The mountain was in no way pristine — it had been heavily logged throughout much of the 20th century, contained paved roads, campgrounds, summer cottages and microwave relay antennas — but several biologists in positions of influence in the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service opposed the development of an observatory site. In order to counter this strategy, Peter Strittmatter (director of Steward Observatory) mounted a campaign to have Mount Graham considered as a potential site for the National New Technology Telescope (which turned into the Gemini North telescope on Mauna Kea). TMT leaders also tried to follow that model. The University of Arizona (UA) selected Mount Graham as their choice location for a seven-telescope observatory project in the 1980s. [ 3] I McGee, J. The continued opposition suggests that the project is now in uncharted territory. “There is a certain community that is born with that particular kind of isolation in the Pacific that we don't see in the sprawling desert in the Southwest” where environmental activists will come and go as they please, Swanner says. These gestures, however, have failed to sway protesters. But not everyone is lauding the LBT and other telescope projects on Mount Graham. Astronomers first leased properties on Kitt Peak and Mauna Kea in 1958 and 1968, respectively, during a time when native groups and environmentalists had less power to oppose them. The Vatican Observatory Research Group (VORG) operates the 1.8m Alice P. Lennon Telescope with its Thomas J. 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