Mauna Kea is generally considered a remarkably good place to conduct astronomical studies, but there are other possible sites for the telescope. Back in 2016, faced by intense opposition from Native Hawaiians and allies, TIO started looking at alternatives. It found a backup location in the Canary Islands, on the island of La Palma. There are already a number of observatories there, including the current largest telescope in the northern hemisphere. "They also considered high mountains in Chile, India, China, and Mexico," according to NBC News.