You see this claim bandied about routinely in newspaper comment sections and Facebook, It has several variations, from biggest, tallest, to largest, to most area. This has been repeated since the beginning of the controversy and continues to the present as a protester staple.
This particular myth is easily disproved as there are any number of buildings on the island that are much larger in several respects. All you need is some elementary school math.
This evening, July 15th, the Moon will pass quite close to Saturn. For viewers in the islands the pair will be closest as it grows dark, slowly separating as the night advances.
At sunset the two will be separated by about 40 arcminutes. Keep in mind that is a center to center distance, considering the size of the moon this puts the planet about 25 arcminutes from the limb of the Moon, close enough to appear in the field of a medium power eyepiece in most amateur telescopes.
As the Moon is also quite close to full it will be rising at sunset, thus a good eastern horizon is desirable to see this event early in the evening. Look for a bright, slightly yellowish star-like object just north of the Moon as it rises.
You almost certainly know by now, the Thirty Meter Telescope will restart construction this coming Monday. It was announced in a live press conference Monday from the governor’s office. At 7am Monday, July 15th, the Mauna Kea Access Road will be closed to permit the passage of heavy equipment.
With this both sides are preparing for the coming confrontation. The protesters are rallying the troops, the state and county have had the response plans in place for a while.
Meanwhile the observatories prepare to get jammed in the middle. We have cancelled planned maintenance operations and stationed a minimum crew in the dorms at Hale Pohaku, just a few guys to keep the telescopes on-sky if the road is impassable due to the protests.
There are already a few protesters on the mauna, a few vehicles at Puʻu Huluhulu, a few to be seen along the summit road. It appears that the larger gatherings will occur over the weekend.
It appears both side expect the action to be at the Mauna Kea Access Road and Saddle Road junction rather than at Hale Pohaku like last time. The plan seems to be forcing the protesters further down the mountain. Actually that is a good plan, safer for everyone protesters included with good road access adjacent to Saddle Road, lower in elevation.
Personally? I was scheduled to go up next week, I cancelled that, opting to go up this Friday to get a last few things done. I may possibly take a turn as part of the minimal crew staying on the mauna for a few days depending on the protests and the ability of law enforcement to keep the road open.
Today the planet Saturn will pass through opposition, directly opposite the Sun in our sky.
Saturn orbits the Sun once every 29.45 years. As the ringed planet continues on its way the Earth swings around much faster on our inside track. As a result we lap Saturn once every 378.1 days, passing between the planet and the Sun. During opposition Saturn will be well placed for observation all night long, rising at sunset, transiting at midnight, and setting at sunrise.