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'This Mountain is It': How Hawai'i's Mauna Kea was 'Discovered' for Astronomy (1959-79)

Abstract : This article focuses on issues of land tenure to retrace the history of how Hawai'i's Mauna Kea volcano was 'discovered' by and for astronomers. In the aftermath of Hawai'i's 1959 accession to US statehood, an inhospitable tract of land was suddenly heralded as being 'probably the best site in the world' for the observation of the Moon, planets and stars. Political and academic institutions moved decisively to secure exclusive rights over the land and started to market it to off-island scientists. In the mid-1970s, a first major project, the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, caused intense pushback from environmental activists and recreational users of the mountain. With the rebirth of the Hawaiian sovereignty movement, the tension surrounding astronomical facilities on Mauna Kea only increased, foreshadowing the conflicts to come.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-03216931
Contributor : Pascal Marichalar <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, May 4, 2021 - 2:33:43 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 12, 2021 - 7:20:16 PM

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Pascal Marichalar. 'This Mountain is It': How Hawai'i's Mauna Kea was 'Discovered' for Astronomy (1959-79). Journal of Pacific History, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2021, ⟨10.1080/00223344.2021.1913402⟩. ⟨halshs-03216931⟩

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