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Günther Hasinger

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From the Director

Dear Friends of the Institute for Astronomy,

Long gone are the days when the solitary astronomer put his eye to the telescope eyepiece and drew what he saw on paper. Today, we astronomers, with our high-technology telescopes, instruments, and computers, depend on and collaborate with people who are experts in a wide variety of other disciplines. And often they benefit from our expertise as well. When I worked for three years at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics helping to develop nuclear fusion power, I was able to experience this myself.

In this issue, we feature a story about the meteorologists of the Mauna Kea Weather Center and the importance of weather and weather predictions for astronomy. We also highlight the astrobiology CAVE, a three-dimensional virtual reality environment created under the leadership of Kim Binsted, a professor of information sciences who is a member of the UH NASA Astrobiology Institute team, which is the epitome of interdisciplinary cooperation. There is also an article about the repair of the UH 2.2-meter telescope after it was struck by lightning. This could not have been accomplished without the hard work of a team that included engineers, technicians, and a computer software engineer.

At the end of September, the Institute for Astronomy completed an important milestone in its ongoing self-study and strategic planning exercise, a retreat of the whole faculty during which we discussed and defined the future priorities of the Institute. One of those is outreach and “friend-raising,” which I will embark on myself. I therefore look forward to seeing many of you when I give the next Frontiers of Astronomy Community Lecture on November 16, “Black Holes and the Fate of the Universe.”

Günther Hasinger
Director, Institute for Astronomy



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Save this date!

Annual IfA Manoa Open House: Sunday, April 29, 2012



Planetary Nebulae
Mauna Kea, IfA Played Key Roles in Nobel Research
UH 2.2-meter Telescope Recovers from Lightning Strike

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, November 16, Frontiers of Astronomy Community Lecture, “Black Holes and the Fate of the Universe,” by Günther Hasinger, IfA director, 7:30 p.m., UH Manoa Art Building Auditorium (Room 132).

More Events>>