This week Thomas Soifer, Gregory Fahlman, and Masanori Iye, members of the Board of Governors of the Thirty Metre Telescope (TMT) International Observatory, visited during the week the installations of the headquarters of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), in La Laguna, and the Teide and Roque de los Muchachos Observatories.
The island of La Palma is still being actively considered as a possible location for what will be the largest optical telescope in the northern hemisphere. The door which gives a path to the Canaries remains open, and has led this week to the visit by a delegation from the board of governors of the International TMT Observatory, comprising Professors Thomas Soifer (Caltech, California), Gregory Fahlman (National Research Council of Canada) and Masanori Iye (National Astronomical Observatory, Japan).
Accompanied by Rafael Rebolo, director of the IAC and several IAC researchers, they held meetings in La Palma with the Mayor of Puntagorda, Vicente Rodríguez, with the President of the Cabildo of La Palma, Anselmo Pestana and a number of councilors, and with the representative on the island of the Spanish government, Miguel Angel Morcuende. All of them told the delegation that their respective adminstrations fully support the installation of the TMT on the island, and said that this project has generated great expectations among the local population because of its socio-economic impact and because it would consolidate La Palma as a world class reference in scientific research.