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Jul 31 18

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Ranger Visit at ʻImiloa

by Imiloa Astronomy Center


Sunday, August 5th from 9am-5pm
A Hawaii Volcanoes National Park ranger will be giving updates on the current eruption, including presentation on volcano geology, rock, ash and Pele’s hair.
Come talk story and get all the latest eruption news.
Ranger presentation is included in the price of regular admission.

Jul 20 18

Making the Future Cooler for You at ‘Imiloa!

by Imiloa Astronomy Center


In the coming weeks, ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center will be undergoing major air-conditioning renovations to help keep you cool during your visit. During this time, certain services will be temporarily closed. Kindly note the following dates and respective facilities that will be available while the air-conditioning work is in progress. Please check ‘Imiloa’s website for up-to-date information on the dates of operation.

We look forward to cooler days with you! Mahalo Nui Loa for your understanding and patience!

‘Imiloa Admin and Staff

Jul 18 18

Helping Future Astronomers Reach for the Stars

by Imiloa Astronomy Center

Paul Coleman Photo

Helping Future Astronomers Reach for the Stars

Paul H.I. Coleman Endowed Scholarship for Astronomy Established

Roberta and Newton Chu have donated $35,000 to establish an endowed scholarship to honor Dr. Paul H. I. Coleman for his contributions to the astronomy field. Coleman, the first Native Hawaiian with a doctorate in physics, spent 16 years with the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Institute for Astronomy (IfA), where he was instrumental in its education and outreach efforts. Newton Chu said, “Roberta and I are honored to establish this endowed scholarship in the name of an inspirational Hawaiian astrophysicist, Dr. Paul H.I. Coleman. Paul served as a role model for many young people, including our son, who have chosen the path of studying the heavens to seek answers to some of humankind’s most complicated questions.” Chu continued, “Unfortunately, Paul was taken from us too soon. It is our hope that this scholarship will help spawn more explorers like Paul. May this scholarship assist students at both UH Mānoa and UH Hilo study astronomy and navigate the heavens to find the answers that we seek.”

“The quest for knowledge is humankind’s noblest endeavor, and we hope that this scholarship will serve to enable Hawai‘i’s children to continue this quest for generations to come,” added Roberta Chu. “Mahalo to D. Dianne Bowen-Coleman and daughters Catherine Hali`amemaheaikekai Bowen Coleman and Elizabeth Noheahinali`imauliola Bowen Coleman for allowing us to dedicate this scholarship in his honor.”

The son of William and Pearl Coleman, Paul H. I. Coleman graduated from St. Louis School, earned his BS in Physics at the University of Notre Dame and his PhD in Physics at the University of Pittsburgh. He spent nearly a decade in the Netherlands, where he worked on describing the large scale structure of the universe using the mathematical language of fractals, as well as on software projects for radio astronomy. He returned to the United States to teach at New Mexico Tech, Yale University, and the University of Puerto Rico. In 2002 he returned home to Hawai`i and joined the IfA team.

Dedicated to sharing the importance of astronomy to Hawai‘i, Coleman was a strong advocate for increasing Hawaiian participation in the sciences and worked tirelessly to bridge the astronomy and Hawaiian communities. For nearly a decade he led the IfA National Science Foundation funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates. This highly competitive program brings a dozen undergraduates from around the country to conduct research with IfA astronomers during the summer. Coleman’s friends remember him as a supportive mentor to many, and as a special man who was proud to carry on the legacy of Hawaiians who studied the stars.

Some of his roles at ʻImiloa included:
• content advisory to ʻImiloa exhibits/programs
• co-creator of new Hawaiian lexicon to support our fully bilingual exhibits
• providing expertise in programs and outreach for ʻImiloa
• mentor to undergraduate and graduate students through ʻImiloa partnerships
• advocate for hawaiian/local student participation in STEM, and in particular, in astronomy
• advocate for indigenous and scientific collaborations local, national, and international
• co-presenter with ʻImiloa Navigator-in-Residence, Kālepa Baybayan.  Paul Coleman was a “astronomer-in-residence” to ʻImiloa
If you would like to make a gift in Dr. Coleman’s memory, please visit or contact Carla Kuo, Associate Director of Development – Hawai‘i Island at (808) 932-7696 or
Jul 17 18

Maunakea Skies: Astronomy Talk Series

by Imiloa Astronomy Center


How Big is the Universe?

Join us for ‘Imiloa’s Maunakea Skies talk series with Dr. Walter Brisken, Director of the Long Baseline Array.

How far away are the stars we see at night? How big is the Milky Way Galaxy in which we live and how is it structured? How large is the visible universe? How can astronomers confined to the solar system make such determinations? Distance measurements are crucial in interpreting astronomical data that shape our view of the structure of the universe and provide calibrated estimates of the sizes and energetics of cosmic objects. Distance determination played a huge role in firmly establishing that the sun is a star and that the Milky Way Galaxy is but one of billions of “island universes’, two concepts with profound implications for both science and philosophy.

Tickets: $10 ($8 for Members)

Only at ʻImiloa

Jun 12 18

Maunakea Skies Talk Series: Gemini Telescope

by Imiloa Astronomy Center
Things That Go Bang in the Night – Gemini Observatory’s Past, Present and Future in “Time Domain” Astronomy
Friday, June 15 at 7:00pm
Presented By – Andy Adamson
Andy is Associate Director for Operations at the International Gemini Observatory, which operates two of the world’s largest astronomical telescopes – one on Maunakea, Hawaii, and one on Cerro Pachon in Chile. He has been with Gemini for about 8 years, prior to which he was the Associate Director for Science Operations at the UK Infrared Telescope, also based on Maunakea. His research field is the study of interstellar dust and molecules.
The Gemini telescope on Maunakea is one of the two largest open-access US astronomical telescope operating at visual and infrared wavelengths (the other is the other Gemini telescope, in Chile). Come learn more about the “two telescopes, one observatory” concept, which was originally coined back in the 1990s to describe the way we do astronomy on behalf our our international partnership, but in the 2020s will become a key to opening fully the time domain in astronomy. Hear highlights from the past year, including how Gemini contributed to observing the neutron-star merger gravitational wave event in August and the “interstellar interloper” asteroid `Oumuamua in January. Both of these events point the way to how Gemini will be enabling exciting science in the 2020s, when a new telescope opening next door to the Gemini South telescope in Chile will produce something like 10 million “alerts” (to things that go bang in the night) every single night!
Tickets: $10 ($8 for Members). Only at ʻImiloa.
May 31 18

Maunakea Skies Talk Series: Striking Gold with Gravitational Waves

by Imiloa Astronomy Center


FRIDAY, JUNE 1st at 7:00PM

Where was gold born in the universe? Come learn about the rapid neutron capture reaction (r-process) and how the merging of neutron stars, so-called “kilonovas”, could provide the answer.

On August 17, 2017, for the first time in human history, gravitational waves from the coalescence of neutron stars were detected by state-of-the-art gravitational wave detectors LIGO and Virgo. This event, named GW 170817, was immediately followed by follow-up observations with various kinds of telescopes around the world, and its electromagnetic counterpart was detected with wide range of electromagnetic waves from gamma rays to radio. It became the first example of successful cooperative observation of gravitational waves and electromagnetic waves, which also enabled us to open up a new window of “multi-messenger astronomy”. The follow-up observations of optical and infrared band were performed using many telescopes, including the Subaru Telescope. Astronomers have found evidence from the observations that huge quantities of heavy elements were produced in the explosion (kilonova) associated with GW 170817. Most of the generated heavy elements were thought to be r-process elements including gold, platinum, or uranium. Did astronomers finally identify the birthplace of gold?

Hosted by Planetarium Technician Emily Peavy, ‘Imiloa’s monthly Maunakea Skies program includes observational highlights of the current night sky over Hawai‘i, with the audience able to view prominent constellations and stars visible during this time of year.


Tickets: $10 ($8 for Members)

May 14 18

Maunakea Skies Talk Series: Subaru Telescope

by Imiloa Astronomy Center

Observatory Backstage Pass: Meet and Greet with Subaru Telescope


FRIDAY, MAY 18TH at 7:00PM
What is it like to work at 14,000ft?  Shoveling snow, maintaining equipment in 300 below-zero degree temperatures, and mounting a three-ton camera atop a telescope are some of the amazing and unusual things you might do working at Subaru Telescope.  Astronomers make up only 20% of observatory staff.  It’s mostly technicians and engineers that keep things going!
Come meet Subaru’s staff on May 18 at Maunakea Skies at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center to get a “behind the scenes” look at the observatory. Engineers, technicians, and educators at Subaru Telescope will share their experiences, challenges, and triumphs, and the astronomical discoveries they made along the way.  Four presenters — Kiaina Schubert (Senior System Administrator), Timothy Castro (Summit Technical Supervisor), Matthew Wung (Instrumentation/Electronics Technician), and Yuko Kakazu (Public Outreach Specialist) — will take you “backstage” at Subaru Telescope.   We will then explore the Universe using the first dataset from the Hyper Suprime-Cam Subaru Strategic Plan. Hyper Suprime-Cam is a groundbreaking giant digital camera with a total of 870 million pixels and an extremely wide field of view.  Using enormous amount of data – over 80 terabytes – we will navigate the Universe and show discoveries made on Maunakea.
Kiaina Schubert (Senior System Administrator) Graduate of St. Joseph High School and UH Hilo
Timothy Castro (Summit Technical Supervisor) Graduate of Hilo High School and Hawaii Community College
Matthew Wung (Instrumentation/Electronics Technician)  Graduate of Waiakea High School and Hawaii Community College
Yuko Kakazu (Subaru Public Outreach Specialist) Native Okinawan, Gradate of University of Hawaii, Institute for Astronomy (Ph.D.)

Tickets: $10 ($8 for Members). Only at ʻImiloa.

Apr 27 18

Hōkūleʻa Visits Hilo

by Imiloa Astronomy Center

Mahalo to the crew, staff and everyone who came out to support the Hōkūleʻa and all that she sails for! A hui hou!

















Apr 25 18

Maunakea Skies – Simulating Life on Mars

by Imiloa Astronomy Center


Calum Hervieu in space suit

Calum Hervieu photo

Simulating Life  on Mars… On Maunaloa

Join us Friday, May 4 at 7:00pm for ‘Imiloa’s Maunakea Skies talk with Dr. Brian Shiro, Geology Lead at HI-SEAS

Tucked away on the northern flank of Maunaloa overlooking Maunakea is a white domed structure where NASA is studying what it takes to live on Mars. This is the Hawai‘i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) program, which is aimed at researching issues related to how crews will function on long-duration missions to Mars. HI-SEAS creates missions and recruits crewmembers who live in the Mars-like habitat for periods ranging from four to twelve months, in order to better understand the planet’s living conditions.

During HI-SEAS missions, some of the crew’s activities require them to leave the habitat and conduct Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVAs) while wearing simulated space suits to approximate the encumbrances astronauts would face while exploring the surface of Mars. This helps to identify and test best practices for future field explorations on the surface of Mars. Funded by NASA, these missions also include supervision by a remote support team via an imposed 40-minute round trip communications delay, replicating real Mars-like communication conditions. Dr. Shiro will take you through the day-to-day life of a HI-SEAS mission and what it’s like learning to live on Mars!

As a collaborator on this project since 2012, Dr. Shiro leads the development, assignment and evaluation of geological field tasks given to the HI-SEAS crews to gauge their team performance under realistic mission constraints. He has experience in over a dozen field expeditions from the Arctic to the Antarctic and many tropical destinations in-between. He spent over 60 days aboard research vessels mapping the seafloor and served on two simulated Mars mission crews in Canada and Utah. He received his B.A. in Integrated Science, Geology and Physics from Northwestern University, an M.A. in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Washington University and an M.S. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, where he applies geophysical exploration techniques to study lava tubes, seamounts and subsurface resources that could support life on other planets.

And… addition to our speaker, special arrangements have been made for Calum Hervieu, an astronaut-in-training, to share his story with us! An astrophysicist and systems engineer from rural Scotland, Calum was a crew member on Mission 6 and will be on Mission 7 as well.  Enjoy learning all about his mission experience and get answers to your questions!


‘Imiloa is excited to feature two Maunakea Skies programs in the month of May. Hosted by Planetarium Technician Emily Peavy, ‘Imiloa’s monthly Maunakea Skies program includes observational highlights of the current night sky over Hawai‘i, with the audience able to view prominent constellations and stars visible during this time of year. An additional Maunakea Skies planetarium presentation will be held on Friday, May 18 at 7:00 p.m. Visit for details. General admission tickets are $10, $8 for members (member level discounts apply). Pre-purchase tickets at ‘Imiloa’s front desk or by phone at 808-932-8901.

Mar 31 18

Hōkūle‘a Mahalo Hawai‘i Sail

by Imiloa Astronomy Center

The iconic Hawaiian double-hulled sailing canoe, Hōkūle’a, will be coming to Hilo on its Mahalo Hawai’i Sail and presenting a free public event (canoe tour and education expo) on Saturday, April 21st, from 9am – 5pm at the Wailoa Harbor.

The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) has embarked on a six-month statewide journey to express its mahalo to numerous segments of the communities throughout Hawai’i for their tremendous support of the three-year Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage from 2014 to 2017.  Another purpose of the Mahalo Hawai’i Sail is to reach out to thousands of schoolchildren across the state, offering canoe tours and hands-on educational activities that showcase ocean navigation through the lenses of science, math, culture and conservation.

The first half of the voyaging canoe’s statewide mission took place from August through October, 2017. On March 24 of this year, Hōkūle’a resumed its Mahalo Hawai’i Sail and departed O‘ahu (Sand Island) for Hawai’i Island, where it will be docked at various ports for two months.

“Planning and implementing this ambitious Mahalo Hawai’i Sail project is exciting and rewarding, and would not have been possible without the assistance of many people from different segments of our community,” said Kālepa Baybayan, ‘Imiloa’s Navigator-in-Residence and the project’s overall lead person for Hawai’i Island. “We are thankful for the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s support, for the time and commitment of everyone involved in the planning of this large scale project, and for sponsorships from ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, the County of Hawai’i, the Grand Naniloa Hotel, Friends of Hōkūle’a and Hawai‘iloa, Hawaiian Airlines and the University of Hawai’i at Hilo.”

During each of its major port visits, crew members will engage with communities, schools and organizations through outreach events, service projects, crew presentations and canoe tours, with the mission of sharing wayfinding lore and lessons learned from the voyage.  In conjunction with the free canoe tours there will be an education expo where exhibitors will highlight related educational opportunities and environmental stewardship programs to “mālama honua,” or care for our planet. 

Participants of the education expo on April 21 at Wailoa Harbor include Blue Planet Foundation, Blue Zones Project, Hawaiʻi Community College, ʻImiloa Astronomy Center, Kamehameha Schools, Ke Kula o Nawahiokalaniʻopuʻu, Ko Kula Kai- Nawahiokalaniʻopuʻu, Maunakea Astronomical Observatory Outreach Committee, Mokupapapa Discovery Center, Polynesian Voyaging Society, PUEO and the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.

For its Hawai’i Island itinerary, the canoe will first anchor at Kailua-Kona Pier on March 30 and 31 before setting sail to arrive in Hilo on Thursday, April 1.  It will be in Hilo until Tuesday, April 27 and depart for Miloli‘i for an overnight stop on Wednesday, April 28. The last port of call for Hōkūle’a will be Kawaihae Harbor on April 29, where free canoe tours and an education expo are scheduled for Saturday, May 5 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.