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The Kama‘āina Observatory Experience

Maunakea Observatories from the northeast

Maunakea Observatories viewed from the northeast as it appeared in February 1998. In the foreground on the summit ridge, from left to right, are the UH 0.6-meter telescope (small white dome, since replaced with 0.9-meter UH Hilo Educational Telescope), the UKIRT telescope, the UH 2.2-meter telescope, the Gemini Northern 8-meter telescope (silver, open) and the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. On the right are the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (silver), the twin domes of the W.M. Keck Observatory; behind and to the left of them is the Subaru Telescope. In the valley below are the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (silver), the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (white, open), and the assembly building for the submillimeter array. This photograph was taken from a helicopter by IfA astronomer Richard Wainscoat. Copyright 1998 by Richard Wainscoat, All Rights Reserved.

The Kama‘āina Observatory Experience, presented by Maunakea Observatories and ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, will be a free monthly community event that seeks to inspire a passion for astronomy and an appreciation for the cultural and environmental future of Maunakea among Hawai‘i residents.

For the first time in the 50-year history of astronomy on Maunakea, local residents will have the opportunity to visit the summit, see world-class telescopes, and learn about the mountain in a holistic manner.

Maunakea Observatories participating in the program will include the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, Gemini Observatory, the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (EAO), NASA Infrared Telescope Facility, Subaru Telescope, Submillimeter Array, the W.M. Keck Observatory, and in the future, the Thirty Meter Telescope.

The Kama‘āina Observatory Experience will launch in early 2016. The free tours will be open exclusively to Hawai‘i residents 16 and older with a valid Hawai‘i ID. Registration will be required and will be available via the website on a first-come, first-served basis.

The tours will begin at Hale Pōhaku with participants parking in the Visitor’s Information Station upper parking lot at 11:30 a.m. Guests will eat lunch at Hale Pōhaku, receive a safety briefing, and  listen to cultural and environment resource talks. The group will then be driven to the summit by guides from the Visitor Information Station and ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center. Once they reach the summit, they will tour two observatories before returning to their vehicles.

For more information, please contact
or 808-969-9703.