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Photo by Rob Ratkowski, HAA Maui

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From the Director

Dear Friends of the Institute for Astronomy,

Recently, I had to make a very difficult decision. I was offered the position of director general of the European Southern Observatory (ESO). ESO is an organization of 11 (soon to be 12) European nations with headquarters in Munich, Germany. It operates two observatories in Chile, La Silla and Paranal, which has four 8-meter telescopes. In collaboration with the United States and Japan, it is building the ALMA submillimeter array of 50 telescopes, a billion dollar project, at an altitude of 17,000 feet, also in Chile. In addition, ESO has serious plans to build a next-generation optical telescope with a 40-meter mirror. The organization has a staff of 600 and a government-funded budget of $130 million.

This very attractive offer made me seriously consider going back to Munich to take on this position. But I have decided not to do so. I will stay in Hawaii and finish the work I have started here at the IfA. I am firmly convinced that our Institute has a brilliant future. With next-generation projects such as Pan-STARRS, the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope, and the Thirty Meter Telescope, Hawaii and the IfA will continue to be the world's leading center of ground-based astronomy. In my interactions with University of Hawaii's senior management over the last weeks, I was deeply impressed by UH's commitment to our Institute and the support for my work.

I look forward to continuing to work with all of you.

Rolf-Peter Kudritzki
Director, Institute for Astronomy


"Killer Asteroids and What We Can Do about Them"

A panel discussion with astronaut Ed Lu and IfA astronomers David Tholen, Robert Jedicke, and Nick Kaiser.
Friday, January 19, 7 p.m., UH Hilo, University Classroom Building, room 100, and
Monday, January 22, 7 p.m., UH Manoa Art Building Auditorium (Room 132)



Pluto: The Case of the Demoted Planet
Adaptive Optics: Taking the Twinkle Out of Stars
Light Pollution in Hawaii
Faculty Profile: Tobias Owen

Upcoming Events

Friday, January 12, AstroTalk, "A Crisis in the Urban Universe," Peter Capak, postdoctoral fellow with the COSMOS project, California Institute of Technology, 7 p.m., UH Hilo, University Classroom Building, room 100.

More Events>>