The headline is intentionally misleading (ending the bad old ways, not ending astronomy) but this is a good article. Two good quotes:
“[The Hawaiians] were coerced into a bad contract, where they’re paid far less to lease the land than it’s worth. Moreover, the lessees of the grounds atop Mauna Kea violated that contract by building more telescopes, faster, than was permitted, yet the native population had no recourse.”
“The vast majority of people involved in this project want both for the telescope to be built and to have the native population of Hawaiians on board with how this land is used, how the inhabitants are treated, and how future projects are handled moving forward.”
Originally shared by Ethan Siegel
“This is the principle of the mountain and the sanctity of Mauna Kea calls on us to raise the standard. We cannot be vengeful. We need to find pono [righteous] solutions. We need to find good things for astronomers. Cooperation is, I think, really the true part of our human nature, not competition. I think we have to go back to cooperation to survive the future.”
If you want to explore the Universe, you need a telescope with good light gathering power, a high-quality camera to make the most out of each photon, and a superior observing location, complete with dark skies, clear nights, and still, high-altitude air. There are only a few places on Earth that have all of these qualities consistently, and perhaps the best one is atop Mauna Kea on Hawaii. Yet generations of wrongs have occurred to create the great telescope complex that’s up there today, and astronomers continue to lease the land for far less than it’s worth despite violating the original contract. That’s astronomy as we know it so far, and perhaps the Mauna Kea protests signal a long awaited end to that.