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Nov 21 16

Jupiter, Juno and the NASA Infrared Telescope (IRTF)

by Brea Aamoth

‘Imiloa Presents Dr. John Rayner, Director of IRTF
Date: Fri. Dec. 16
Time: 7pm
Cost: $10, $8 for members (member level discounts apply)

One of the most fascinating elements of modern astronomy is the stream of recent exoplanet discoveries–planets circling other stars. Extensive research and development is currently underway in order to better understand how these planets are formed, as well as discovering the formation of planets within our own solar system. Learn more about the formation of planets and other related science phenomena at ‘Imiloa’s Maunakea Skies talk on Friday, December 16 at 7:00 p.m., presented by Dr. John Rayner, Director of the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) on Maunakea.


Dr. Rayner will also discuss how the NASA IRTF is providing supporting observations for NASA’s own Juno spacecraft, which is currently orbiting Jupiter with the goal of measuring the planet’s overall structure and composition and increasing our understanding of how it was formed. Jupiter is by far the largest planet in the solar system, and knowledge of its properties is key to understanding the formation of the solar system and possibly other planetary systems. Dr. Rayner will describe the Juno mission and the role of this spacecraft in this epic quest for knowledge.

Dr. Rayner obtained his education in the UK with a degree in Physics from Kings College, University of London, and a PhD in astronomical instrumentation from the University of Edinburgh. He has been building infrared instruments at IRTF for the past 27 years and is currently commissioning a high-resolution infrared spectrograph, optimized for observing star and planet-forming disks, planetary atmospheres and comets.

 

 

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 audienceable to view prominent constellations and stars visible during this time of year. Maunakea Skies planetarium presentations are held on the third Friday of each month. 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.

Member Level Discounts: $8 for UHH/HawCC Student, Kupuna, Individual, Dual, and Family Members; $6 for Patron Members; Free for Silver, Gold, and Corporate Members.

Nov 3 16

Reflection of October Maunakea Skies with Dr. Masanori Iye

by Emily Peavy

Scientific and Engineering Challenges of the Thirty Meter Telescope: A Perspective from Japan

‘Imiloa invited Dr. Masanori Iye, Thirty Meter Telescope Japan Representative, to give a talk as a part of the monthly lecture series Maunakea Skies. As Professor Emeritus of NAOJ (Subaru telescope), Dr. Iye compared the scientific and engineering challenges of the Subaru telescope to those of the planned Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT).
“It was my honor to have a chance to talk at ‘Imiloa Maunakea Skies. Maunakea is so special for all of us who have a special love to the mountain. I am sure we shall be able to overcome eventually not just the scientific and engineering challenges but also the cultural [challenges],” said Dr. Iye.

The evening began with a brief look at the night sky where the audience compared what is visible with the naked eye verses with a telescope. Dr. Iye began by discussing the challenges with Subaru Telescope throughout its planning and construction. Subaru is a unique observatory, as it pushed the limit of how large a single mirror could be constructed. Unique systems were implemented to correct for astigmatism with the mirror and innovations of adaptive optics technology was also developed to properly subtract out the adverse effects of the atmosphere.

The Thirty Meter Telescope’s mirror will be very different from Subaru’s mirror, as it is simply not possible to build a single mirror that large. However, the design of the mirror will be similar to M. W. Keck Telescopes’ in that it will use multiple segmented mirrors which are precisely designed and aligned to act together as one single large mirror.

Japan assumes the responsibility of building TMT’s main telescope structure using their experience of Subaru’s construction to guide them. Japan is currently producing the mirrors for TMT, with the telescope requiring 492 mirrors total with an additional 82 spares; so far 164 of the 584 required mirrors have been produced.

Astronomers use the term “magnitude” to describe how bright or faint an object is. The magnitude scale is often confusing as bright objects are low numbers, while fainter objects have higher numbers; for example the sun has a magnitude of -26.7, while the star Hikianalia, also known as Spica, has a magnitude of 1.04 as it is much fainter than the sun. The Thirty Meter Telescope is projected to be sensitive to light as faint as 32 magnitude. For comparison, the human eye is sensitive to 6 magnitude while current telescopes are sensitive to 28 magnitude.  Detecting light as faint as 32 magnitude would be the equivalent to seeing a firefly blink on the dark side of the moon.

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With its increased sensitivity the Thirty Meter Telescope will see closer objects in greater detail, and see new, farther away objects that have never been observed before. As astonomers look farther away into the Universe they are also looking back in time, as it took so long for the light of distant objects to reach us. This will allow astronomers to study the new planets now being discovered around other stars, and gain a better understanding of the Cosmic Dawn of the universe and our own origins.

 

Click here to view extended clip

Click here to read about November’s Maunakea Skies Talk on Nov. 18

Nov 1 16

Mahalo for joining us at ‘Imiloa’s 9th Annual Wayfinding Festival!

by Brea Aamoth

Mahalo nui to the community for joining us in celebrating Wayfinding Month! October was jam packed with community activities centered around the theme of the wa’a (canoe), culminating with ‘Imiloa’s 9th Annual Wayfinding Festival on October 29, 2016. Hilo’s newly carved canoe, Palikū, was carved and created throughout Wayfinding Month at Hilo Bayfront, and was transferred to ‘Imiloa’s front lawn to be featured at Wayfinding Festival. Check out the videos and photos below recapping Wayfinding Month and Wayfinding Festival!

Video created by Ilihia Gionson, County of Hawaii

Keiki enjoyed wa’a activities, including a mini-canoe building workshop, scavenger hunts, special Wayfinding planetarium programming and more!

 

Pictured above, Hilo’s newly carved canoe, Palikū!

keiki

Keiki testing out their mini-canoes during the mini-canoe carving workshop!

The Wa’a Iron Chef  competition featured ingredients and cooking utensils that closely replicate the tools and foods available during a canoe voyage.

The Keiki Holoholo Corner featured fishing adventures and special Halloween treats!

 

Mahalo nui to the County of Hawaii and Kohala Village HUB for sponsoring the 2016 Wayfinding Month and Wayfinding Festival!

Oct 31 16

Long-Wavelength Eyes on the Cosmos: November Maunakea Skies Talk with Dr. Mark Rawlings, Support Scientist at James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (EAO)

by Brea Aamoth

‘Imiloa Presents Dr. Mark Rawlings, Support Scientist at the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope
Date: Fri. Nov. 18
Time: 7pm
Cost: $10, $8 for members (member level discounts apply)

Many remarkable astronomical discoveries have resulted from scientific observations across the realms of the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum that lie beyond the domain of human vision. Learn more about this fascinating technology at ‘Imiloa’s Maunakea Skies talk on Friday, November 18 at 7:00 p.m. with Dr. Mark Rawlings, Support Scientist at the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (East Asian Observatory).

The electromagnetic spectrum encompasses all different forms of light and energy, ranging from low energy radio waves through visible light that humans can see, to high energy Gamma rays. We take advantage of some of the more familiar parts of the EM spectrum in our day-to-day lives, when we use a microwave to warm up food, or tune in to a local radio station. Other portions of the EM spectrum, such as infrared, radio, and submillimeter wavelengths, allow astronomers to make fascinating discoveries about our Universe. Infrared observations, for example, pierce the cloudy veils of stellar nurseries and offer a view of stars in the process of being born, while radio and submillimeter telescopes allow us to image some of the coldest places in the Universe, and glimpse the tiniest molecules and even the afterglow of the Big Bang itself.

During his talk, Rawlings will focus on telescopes that observe at the longer wavelengths–the radio, submillimeter and infrared ranges–and discuss their complementary roles in observing the ‘interstellar medium,’ the material between stars. Despite being invisible to the human eye, the humble mixture of dust and gas that make up the interstellar medium is a fundamental component of the Universe and is actually central to the formation of galaxies, stars and planets. Come learn about astronomers’ unexpected adventures and ongoing struggles to capture the faintest of signals from distant clouds in deep space.

Rawlings received his Ph.D. from the University of Central Lancashire (UK), specializing in optical and infrared studies of dust and gas in high extinction galactic sightlines, focusing on the role of organic material in diffuse interstellar space. For the past year, he has worked as a Support Scientist at the East Asian Observatory. His primary scientific interests include interstellar dust and gas, star formation and evolved stars.

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 audienceable to view prominent constellations and stars visible during this time of year. Maunakea Skies planetarium presentations are held on the third Friday of each month. 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.

Member Level Discounts: $8 for UHH/HawCC Student, Kupuna, Individual, Dual, and Family Members; $6 for Patron Members; Free for Silver, Gold, and Corporate Members.

Oct 10 16

Wayfinding Talk at ‘Imiloa with ‘Uncle Ray’ Bumatay

by Brea Aamoth

‘Imiloa Wayfinding Talk
Presenter: Ray Bumatay
Date: Fri. Oct. 14
Time: 7:00pm
Cost: $10, $8 for members (member level discounts apply)

Canoe carving is a family tradition that has been passed down for many generations in Hilo’s own Bumatay family. Ray Bumatay, a multi-generational canoe carver, will share his lifetime of experience centered around the building and racing of Hawaiian canoes. His lifelong passion has been instilled in his children, who today, continue to teach and engage local students in the canoe culture of Hawai‘i, preparing these youth for success in life by instilling confidence and positive reinforcement. Ray Bumatay has been a significant leader in Hawai‘i, acclaimed for his knowledge and efforts to keep Hawai‘i’s canoe carving culture vibrant and strong –- and to ensure that future generations continue to practice this art. Come and learn from his experiences as “Uncle Ray” presents ‘Imiloa’s Wayfinding Talk this Friday, October 14, at 7pm.

General admission tickets are $10; $8 for UHH/HawCC Student, Kupuna, Individual, Dual, and Family Members; $6 for Patron Members; Free for Silver, Gold, and Corporate Members. Pre-purchase tickets at the ‘Imiloa front desk or by phone at (808) 932-8901.

Sep 30 16

Scientific and Engineering Challenges of the Thirty Meter Telescope: A Perspective from Japan

by Brea Aamoth

‘Imiloa Presents Dr. Masanori Iye, TMT-Japan Representative
Date: Fri. Oct. 21
Time: 7pm
Cost: $10, $8 for members

While initially planned by institutions in North America, the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) has grown into an ambitious multinational partnership involving institutes from Japan, China, India, in addition to the U.S. and Canada. The public is invited to learn more about the Japanese perspective on TMT and the progress and challenges of building this next-generation instrument at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center’s next Maunakea Skies talk on October 21 at 7:00 p.m., presented by Dr. Masanori Iye, TMT-Japan Representative.

An artist’s rendering of the telescope at sunset — Courtesy of TMT International

Japan’s interest in the next generation telescope dates back to the completion of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan’s Subaru Telescope atop Maunakea in 1999, and Subaru’s subsequent campaign to look deep into the history of the Universe, using a unique wide field camera able to spot galaxies at 13 billion light years away. The success of this campaign—highlighted by the 2006 discovery of the most distant galaxy, IOK-1, which held the world record for five years — led to the enthusiastic support of Japan’s participation to TMT.

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Building on the legacy of Subaru Telescope, Japan has assumed responsibility for designing and building the TMT structure, and providing 576 special glass blanks for the 30 meter primary mirror, with much of the work well underway in Japan. In his presentation, Dr. Iye will discuss in detail the engineering and innovation involved in the building of the TMT, along with the challenges involved. He will also touch on some discoveries the TMT is projected to identify by the late 2020’s. These future discoveries are expected to include the history of the early Universe, when the first stars and galaxies were formed, detailed studies of extrasolar planets and their formation process, and the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

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Dr. Iye received his Doctorate of Science (Astronomy) at the University of Tokyo. He is now a Professor Emeritus of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, and currently serves as the Japan Representative of the TMT project. Among many awards, he is the winner of the Japan Academy Prize and the Imperial Medal with Purple Ribbon for Contributions to Astronomy. Professor Iye has been very active in supporting and expanding astronomy education in Japan, and was the director of 3 award-winning science video films.

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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. Maunakea Skies planetarium presentations are held on the third Friday of each month. 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.

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Member Level Discounts: $8 for UHH/HawCC Student, Kupuna, Individual, Dual, and Family Members; $6 for Patron Members; Free for Silver, Gold, and Corporate Members.

Sep 22 16

October is Wayfinding Month: A Celebration of an Ancient Art

by Brea Aamoth

For generations the starry heavens guided deep-sea voyagers from island to island across Oceania, pointing the direction to new landfalls and marking pathways to lead them home. This history of human exploration across Earth’s largest ocean is truly one of the world’s epic tales of human migration. Early voyagers constructed sophisticated seagoing canoes from available natural resources, then sailed across open ocean using the light of the stars and cues from nature as their guides. To celebrate centuries of non-instrument navigation, Mayor Billy Kenoi has officially proclaimed October as Wayfinding Month, to be dedicated to community activities centered around the theme of the wa‘a (canoe).

Preparation for the festivities began in mid September with the ceremonial cutting of an albizia tree for transfer to the shores of Hilo’s Bayfront. There, nā kālai wa‘a (canoe carvers) will begin the carving and creation of a wa‘a kaukahi (single-hulled canoe). The public is invited to watch the initial construction and transformation of the tree from a log to a canoe hull on Tuesday, October 4 – Thursday, October 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m at Hilo Bayfront. The community can continue to watch the construction of the wa‘a during ‘Wa’a Wednesdays’ taking place October 12, 19 and 26 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with an opportunity to talk story with some of the men and women who have been involved in the modern Hawaiian movement to perpetuate canoe carving. Following its completion and a community blessing, the wa‘a will launch into Hilo Bay waters on Friday, October 28 at 10:00 a.m.

Schools are urged to sign up their classes for field trip excursions to Hilo’s Bayfront throughout the month of October to observe the canoe building in action and learn about the art of wayfinding and canoe carving. To take advantage of this educational opportunity, schedule a field trip by calling Kalani Kahalioumi at the County of Hawai‘i Offices at 808-961-8688.

Culminating Wayfinding Month will be the 9th Annual ‘Imiloa Wayfinding Festival at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center on Saturday, October 29 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This free community event will feature Hilo’s newest canoe built during Wayfinding Month, special planetarium programming and canoe activities for the entire ‘ohana.

Other Wayfinding activities throughout the month of October include Wa‘a Talks with members of ‘Ohana Wa‘a at Richardson’s Ocean Center on October 13 at 4:00 p.m. and a Wayfinding Talk at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center on October 14 at 7:00 p.m. A Temple of Children Mele Mural activity will take place on October 22 from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Palekai, Radio Bay. After ‘Imiloa’s Wayfinding Festival, enjoy music at the Wayfinding Wahine Concert at Kohala Village HUB  Barn on Saturday, October 29 at 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. featuring the Holo Queens (Wahine Voyagers:) Kainani Kahaunaele, Mahina Paishon Duarte, Lee Ann Punua and Pelika Bertelmann.

Special thanks to the County of Hawai‘i and the Kohala Village Hub for making Wayfinding Month possible.

 

Sep 7 16

Deadline Extended for MANU ‘Imiloa: KŌLEA Teacher Training

by Brea Aamoth

‘Imiloa is seeking educators to teach students about the rhythms and patterns of the earth, sea and sky through a unique wayfinding and navigation experience, MANU ‘Imiloa: KŌLEA.

Middle school math & science teachers interested in sharing real-life applications with their students still have time to apply to be part of the second cohort of MANU ‘Imiloa: KŌLEA, the newest outreach program of the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center. With local school schedules disrupted by recent hurricane activity, ‘Imiloa has extended the teacher application deadline to September 15.

KŌLEA (Keeping Our Legacy of Exploration Alive) offers participating schools a unique 2-3 week curriculum package designed specifically for 7th and 8th grade science or math classes.  Titled “He Manu He Waʻa, The Geometry of Wayfinding,” the curriculum is inspired by the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s epic Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, and brings to life the geometry, astronomy and other sciences that undergird traditional Polynesian non-instrumental navigation.

Ten lucky Hawai‘i Island teachers participated in the inaugural  KŌLEA cohort in 2015-2016.   Reflecting on the experience, one participant commented, “Many of my students feel disconnected from math and science, because it is so abstract and seems disconnected from their lives. For my students to succeed, what I teach needs to be meaningful to them, and needs to relate to their lives. MANU helps to give them the tools to make it far!”

The 2016-2017 KŌLEA program will be limited to 15 enthusiastic and passionate middle school teachers across Hawai‘i Island. To be eligible you must be a 7th or 8th grade science, astronomy, math or STEM Resource teacher, and attend a 4-day MANU ‘Imiloa Teacher Training Workshop to be held at ‘Imiloa from Monday, October 10 – Thursday, October 13, 2016. If you’re ready to embark with your students on a remarkable voyage without ever having to leave home, call 808-932-8910 or email outreach@imiloahawaii.org.

Sep 1 16

UKIRT: Recent Discoveries and Future Promise

by Brea Aamoth

‘Imiloa Presents Dr. Richard Green, Director of UKIRT Observatory
Date: Fri. Sept. 16
Time: 7pm
Cost: $10, $8 for members

Photo Courtesy of UKIRT

Photo Courtesy of UKIRT

Among the observatories atop Maunakea, UKIRT Telescope utilizes a unique panoramic camera sensitive to infrared radiation which allows for an outpouring of scientific discoveries both close to Earth and far into the Universe. This will be the subject of the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center’s next Maunakea Skies talk on September 16 at 7:00 p.m. presented by Dr. Richard Green, Director of UKIRT Observatory. Green will discuss the telescope’s use of infrared radiation and UKIRT’s promising plans for the future.

“I will talk about the latest results on the most distant galaxies, how the supermassive black holes that power quasars grow with time and how UKIRT helps find Earth-like planets in the habitable zones around nearby stars,” stated Green. “Not only will UKIRT continue to observe the most distant galaxies and quasars along with stars in our Galaxy, it will also be used to characterize objects right next door – orbital space debris and asteroids coming very near the Earth.”

In addition to directing the UKIRT Observatory, Green is also the Assistant Director for Government Relations of Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona. He graduated from Harvard College in 1971 before receiving his Ph.D. from CalTech. His major research interests are quasars, the early Universe and the nuclei of galaxies.

 

‘Imiloa’s monthly Maunakea Skies program includes observational highlights of the current night sky over Hawai‘i, hosted by Planetarium Technician ʻĀhia Dye. The audience can view prominent constellations and stars visible during this time of year. Maunakea Skies planetarium presentations are held on the third Friday of each month. 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.

Member Level Discounts: $8 for UHH/HawCC Student, Kupuna, Individual, Dual, and Family Members; $6 for Patron Members; Free for Silver, Gold, and Corporate Members.

Aug 17 16

Free ‘Imiloa Membership for all UH Hilo and HCC Students

by Brea Aamoth

‘Imiloa is excited to announce that we are offering FREE memberships to all registered UH Hilo students and all HCC students! This free membership includes unlimited regular daily shows in our full-dome planetarium, full access to our interactive exhibit hall and discounts to events. Members can also take advantage of discounts at Sky Garden Restaurant and in our Museum Store.

Whether you are majoring in a natural or social science, in one of the liberal arts, or in a professional program, you’re sure to find an exhibit, a 3-D planetarium show, or a program or event at ‘Imiloa to spark your interest!

Registered students can obtain their membership by visiting ‘Imiloa’s front desk (must show Student ID card).