Members of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) International Observatory Board have selected Spain’s Canary Islands as a potential alternative site for their giant telescope after locals in the first-choice site of Hawaii’s Mauna Kea protested construction.

While TMT officials say they would still prefer to build on Mauna Kea, they are willing to consider other locations, due to the dissatisfaction of Hawaiian locals with the Observatory’s original proposal.

“We’ll be watching the situation in Hawaii carefully, hoping that continues to move forward,” Fiona Harrison, member of the TMT board of governors, told Nature. “And the success of those efforts will determine whether we can build the TMT in Hawaii.”

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