Tagged: astronomy

Civil Geeks: Exoplanetpalooza

Astronomers in Hawaii play a critical role in the search for planets orbiting stars beyond our own solar system. My latest “Civil Geeks” column explores a recent sky survey that identified over 100 new exoplanets. Although the existence of alien life will be hard to prove, it’s becoming increasingly probable....

Boosting Big Island Access to Astronomy

The ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo is one of my favorite places to visit when I’m visiting my favorite town on Earth. Aimed at kids and students as much as tourists, it beautifully illustrates the connection between traditional Hawaiian practices and cutting edge science. But with the Big Island spread...

Astronomers to Explore ‘Extreme Solar Systems’

As solar systems go, the one we live in is pretty boring. In the “Hitchhiker’s Guide” by the great Douglas Adams, our neighborhood was described as being “far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the galaxy.” (Our planet was deemed “mostly harmless.”) But planets...

Keck Observatory Marks 25 Years of World-Class Astronomy

On Tuesday, the elder of the twin telescopes of the W.M. Keck Observatory will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its “first light” operations perched atop Mauna Kea on Hawaii Island. The milestone comes as the planned construction of the world’s largest optical telescope, the Thirty Meter Telescope, was delayed once again....

Hawaiian Astronomy Highlighted at Museum Talks

Perhaps the definitive book on Hawaiian astronomy and Polynesian voyaging, out of print for some time, is getting a comprehensive update 40 years since it was first published. Astronomy will be a recurring theme while the International Astronomical Union (IAU) is in Honolulu for the next two weeks. On Friday I recapped...

Hilo Hosts 3rd Astronomy and Engineering Summit

For the third year, the Pacific Astronomy and Engineering Summit is being convened in Hilo, bringing together high school students from around the world for five days of activities, workshops, and other hands-on learning opportunities. The summit was first held in 2013, modeled after two of the worlds most prestigious science...

New Astronomy App Celebrates Keck Observatory

The W.M. Keck Observatory is the launching point for a new astronomy education app that helps stargazers explore the sky from its perspective at the 14,000-foot elevation of Hawaii Island. While much attention has been focused on a telescope that has yet to be built, Maunakea is already the home of the...

Bishop Museum to Showcase NASA Mission to Pluto

A space mission more than a decade in the making will reach its target in the coming weeks, and the Bishop Museum is planning a special program to commemorate the occasion. NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft was launched in 2006, a $700 million mission to send the first spacecraft to see Pluto and its...

The Astronomers are Coming for Our Children!

Hawaii is hosting the largest meeting of professional astronomers in the world later this year. Although the 29th General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union is more than 50 days away, the group is already extending an invitation to local schools to take part in some world-class science education programs. The...

Eclipse Expert to Speak at Science Cafe Tomorrow

There are only 989 days 11,220 days (!) until Hawaii sees its next solar eclipse. Fortunately, it’s not too late to prepare for Jan. 31, 2018 Feb. 5, 2046, and tomorrow brings a cozy talkstory presentation by Shadia Habbal, a Syrian-born astrophysicist who has studied the sun at the UH Institute for...

Institute for Astronomy Open House

New Exhibits Join Favorites at Astronomy Open House

One of my favorite geeky, family-friendly events is coming this weekend: the annual Open House hosted by the UH Institute for Astronomy. Parents, kids, and fans of space and science of any age are invited to visit the institute in Manoa Valley on Sunday, where they will find dozens of exhibits, hands-on activities...

Deep Impact

Space Water Stories Served at Science Cafe

In the perennial search for life beyond our planet, most stargazers and scientists are looking for something far simpler than spaceships or radio signals. Water — that magical combination of hydrogen and oxygen — is considered one of the critical ingredients to supporting alien life. Just this week, new studies have...

Meet the Stargazers on Sunday

Meet the Stargazers on Sunday

The University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy is holding its annual Open House this Sunday, April 5, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year’s event is a special one, as it’s part of a global “100 Hours of Astronomy” celebration. This year, 2009, is the “International Year of Astronomy,”...

Nawahi Crater on Mercury

Nawahi Crater on Mercury

A crater on the surface of the planet Mercury has been officially named in honor of a historic Hawaiian painter. Nawahi Crater, located in Mercury’s Calloris Basin, gets its name from native Hawaiian artist Joseph Kaho’oluhi Nawahiokalaniopu’u. It’s one of fifteen names announced last week by NASA’s MESSENGER mission, which...