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Feb 5 16

‘Imiloa Turns 10!

by Brea Aamoth

Community Invited to Free Family Day on February 21

On Sunday, February 21, ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center turns ten years old!  To mark this milestone, ‘Imiloa will open its doors free to the public with a festive 10th Anniversary Celebration sponsored by KTA Super Stores.  The event will feature food, fun, and free activities for all ages centered around the theme of exploration or “’imiloa” in Hawaiian.

“As ‘Imiloa prepares to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our 2006 opening, we are privileged to have sponsorship from KTA Super Stores, which itself is observing a big 100thanniversary this year.  KTA has played a cornerstone role in supporting ‘Imiloa’s educational outreach over our first decade, and it is thanks to their leadership and that of our other community supporters that ‘Imiloa is here today, proud to be launching our second decade!” comments ‘Imiloa Executive Director Kaʻiu Kimura.

‘Imiloa’s 10th Anniversary Celebration starts at 9 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m. The day’s offerings include complimentary access to ‘Imiloa’s interactive exhibit hall, where visitors can step inside and pilot their own tour of the universe on the newly installed World Wide Telescope.  Special programming for the day includes 20-minute planetarium experiences and an opportunity to meet crew members from the ‘Ohana Wa’a and the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage.  Hands-on science activity stations will be located throughout the center, including an “Inven10 Lab” where keiki will be invited to create their own Cosmic Clay and mold it to invent their own dream exhibit, to help guide ʻImiloaʻs future exhibit redesign as it steps into the next decade!

Free birthday cake will be served to the first 1,000 visitors, and KTA Super Stores will have food options for purchase. Visitors can make their own ice cream at a DIY homemade ice cream booth.

Outdoors there will be “Cotton Candy Galaxies,” inflatable hōlua slides, and “Maunakea Animal Adventure” train rides to take keiki on an expedition to search for Maunakea wildlife throughout ʻImiloa’s award-winning native garden landscape.

To make the day even more special, ʻImiloa will be offering a one-day-only discount of $10 off all levels of ‘Imiloa membership purchased on-site at the event.  Membership includes a full year of free admission, access to exclusive events, and discounts on merchandise and programs.  Whether you are new to the ʻImiloa ʻohana or renewing an existing membership, take advantage of this 10th anniversary discount…and make every day a free day at ‘Imiloa!

After years of planning and design beginning in 2001, the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center officially opened on the UH Hilo campus on February 20, 2006, with a blessing and free day for the community to experience its new 12,000 sq. ft. exhibit hall, digital full dome planetarium and native landscape gardens.  Over its first decade ‘Imiloa has hosted some 100,000 visitors annually, including 10,000 K-12 students and teachers on curriculum-related field trips each year.

About ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center

‘Imiloa Astronomy Center is dedicated to provide a place of life-long learning. Where the power of Hawaii’s cultural traditions, its legacy of exploration and the wonders of astronomy come together to provide inspiration and hope for generations. We are located at 600 ‘Imiloa Place in Hilo. For more information visit us online at ImiloaHawaii.org; or call us at 808-932-8900.

Feb 2 16

Tales of Maya Skies – Planetarium Show at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center

by Brea Aamoth

Don’t miss out on any of this month’s Planetarium Shows! Including Tales of the Maya Skies, a production of Chabot Space & Science Center.

 ‘Imiloa’s digital full-dome planetarium system and 5.1 audio surround sound create a spectacular immersive audio-visual experience! Every presentation includes a live sky lecture featuring the sky as viewed from Maunakea.

Maya Astronomers knowledge of the skies led to the creation of an accurate calendar and the prediction of eclipses. That all things are bound together: The earth, the people, the sun, the moon and stars.

Tales of the Maya Skies tells the story of how the ancient Maya interwove astronomy and culture to create a stable society that spanned 2,000 years, from 500 BCE to 1500 CE. Maya culture, life, architecture, and legends were intertwined with the ancient Maya’s scientific observation and recording of planetary movements.
The ancient Maya achieved an unparalleled understanding of astronomy. They developed an advanced system of mathematics that allowed them to create a set of calendars unrivaled in the ancient world.  Their logo-syllabic (symbols representing either a syllable or a word) writing system has fascinated linguists for centuries, and has only recently been decoded.
The show is set primarily at Chichén Itzá, one of the last great city states of the Maya classic/post classic period. This site is renowned for the alignment of its temples to the Sun and Venus, and for the glyphs representing deities associated with the Sun and Venus.

For the past thousand years, the astronomy and mathematics of the ancient Maya have been shrouded in mystery. Now, our secrets are revealed in the tales of the Maya Skies.

 

Feb 2 16

In Honor of Black History Month We Recognize Dr. Mae Jemison – The First African American Female to Travel to Space

by Brea Aamoth

In honor of Black History Month, Dr. Mae Jemison who was an astronaut, physician and entrepreneur is recognized for being the first African American woman to travel in space. On Sept. 12, 1992 Dr. Jemison went into orbit as a crew member on NASA’s Space Shuttle Endeavor.

Prior to joining NASA in 1987, Jemison received her bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University and gained her Doctorate in Medicine from Cornell University. She was also a Medical Officer in the Peace Corps.  She has appeared on television several times, including as an actress in an episode of Star Trek. Today, she is a worldwide leader in STEM, space exploration and sustainability.

(Photo Credit: NASA)

Jan 29 16

A Telescope the Size of the Earth

by Anna Liu

Viewing Black Holes, Galaxies, and Stars with the Sharpest Resolution

How do data from 10 telescopes, set across the United States, merge to make the most detailed images of astronomical objects ever attained? Join Dr. Geoffrey Bower of the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) for a look at how scientists use this network of instruments to understand black holes, the structure of our galaxy, and the nature of stars, at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center’s next Maunakea Skies program on February 19, 2016 at 7 pm.

Atop Maunakea sits one component of the largest telescope in the world, the Very Long Baseline Array, which consists of 10 radio telescopes distributed across the U.S., from Hawai‘i to the Virgin Islands, with a reach that extends as far as telescopes in Earth orbit. The great distances between these 10 telescopes enable astronomers to observe the Universe with an unprecedented precision—capable of resolving Neil Armstrong’s footprint on the Moon!

Dr. Bower will share how the VLBA’s high resolution view enables us to see the hot plasma that is orbiting and ejected from black hole systems, as well as how it can perform the most accurate measurements of distance and motion, giving us a detailed view of the structure of our galaxy. He will also discuss how the VLBA is used to understand the nature of stars across their lifespan, from their early lives as highly magnetized systems to their deaths as supernovae.

Dr. Geoffrey Bower

Dr. Geoffrey Bower

Dr. Geoffrey Bower is Chief Scientist for Hawai‘i Operations for the Academica Sinica Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA). Dr. Bower studies black holes and other energetic phenomena using radio telescopes, including the Very Long Baseline Array, the Submillimeter Array on Maunakea, the Very Large Array in New Mexico, and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array in Chile. A graduate of Princeton University and the University of California at Berkeley, Dr. Bower has performed research and taught at the Max Planck Institut für Radioastronomie in Germany, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in New Mexico, and UC Berkeley.

The Maunakea Skies program will be hosted by ‘Imiloa Planetarium Technician, Emily Peavy, who will provide observational highlights of the current night sky over Hawai‘i, and point out prominent constellations and stars visible during this time of year.

‘Imiloa’s monthly Maunakea Skies planetarium presentations are held on the third Friday of each month. Cost is $8 for Individual, Dual, Kupuna and Family Members; $6 for Patron Members; Free for Silver, Gold, and Corporate Members. Non-member rate is $10. Pre-purchase tickets at the ‘Imiloa front desk or by phone at 932-8901.

‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i is located at 600 ‘Imiloa Place in Hilo, off Komohana and Nowelo Streets at the UH Hilo Science and Technology Park. For more information, go to www.imiloahawaii.org, or call (808) 932-8901.

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Jan 22 16

‘Imiākea Series

by Anna Liu

Discovering Maunakea

The ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i announces an exciting new monthly program series entitled ʻImiākea: Discovering Maunakea. The new series is aimed at expanding understanding of all the dimensions represented by Maunakea.

“Since opening our doors in February 2006, ‘Imiloa has had an impact on several hundred thousand kama‘āina and visitors alike,” stated Ka‘iu Kimura, ‘Imiloa Executive Director. “Now as we enter our second decade, we are making a concerted effort to build on this work and expand our reach as we continue to honor Maunakea by inspiring new generations to carry on the Hawaiian traditions of exploration and discovery through modern science and technology.”

The ‘Imiākea series will consist of monthly events hosted at ‘Imiloa, ranging from performances and hands-on workshops with practitioners, to interactive panel discussions with experts in various fields, and community experiences. It may include all-day family events as well.

Kicking off the new series on Wednesday, February 3, 2016, from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, will be an evening of mele and hula with two of Hilo’s own young and respected kumu hula, husband and wife Kekoa and Pele Harman. As graduates and faculty of ʻImiloa’s consortium partner, Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language, Kekoa and Pele are intimately involved in the Hawaiian language movement and community. Hula and mele, moreover, run deep in their roots as practitioners and back through their kūpuna; Pele is the moʻopuna (grandchild) of esteemed kumu hula, scholar and historian, Mary Kawena Pūkuʻi.

Join us for an evening of hula and conversation as Kekoa and Pele present and explore the mele “Maunakea,” in an appropriate beginning to the ʻImiākea series. Kekoa and Pele chose this mele because for its embodiment of a true sense of “aloha ʻāina” or love for place. “Maunakea” is understood to be one of several mele written for Queen Emma’s 1883 visit to Hawaiʻi Island, and it recounts her travels and notes unique characteristics of the areas dear to her heart, including Hilo, Puna and Kaʻū, all of which also hold special meaning for Kekoa and Pele and their ʻohana.

Don’t miss this special evening beginning a new journey into discovering the special place that is Maunakea.

Cost is $10 for Members; $15 for Non-members. Pre-purchase tickets at the ‘Imiloa front desk or by phone at 932-8901.

‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i is a world-class informal science education center located on the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo campus. ‘Imiloa is a place of life-long learning where the power of Hawai‘i’s cultural traditions, its legacy of exploration and the wonders of astronomy come together to provide inspiration and hope for generations. The Center’s interactive exhibits, 3D full dome planetarium, native landscape, and programs and events engage children, families and the local community in the wonders of science and technology found in Hawai‘i. It is open to the public from 9 am to 5 pm. Tuesday through Sunday (closed Mondays). For more information, visit the website at www.imiloahawaii.org or call (808) 932-8901.

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Jan 7 16

The Very Hungry Black Hole

by Anna Liu

Exploring Connections between Star-forming Galaxies and Active Black Holes

What do we know about the phenomenon of black holes in the universe? The public is invited to join Dr. Andreea Petric of Gemini Observatory in exploring “The Very Hungry Black Hole” at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center’s next Maunakea Skies program on January 15, 2016 at 7 pm.

Scientists have determined that most galaxies have a black hole at their center, and in some galaxies this supermassive central black hole is fed by stars and gas. The nuclei of such galaxies are called Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), and their histories are intertwined with the evolution of their host galaxies. In this talk, Dr. Petric will provide an introduction to the theory and observations that have built our current understanding of AGN. She will also discuss some recent findings about the evolutionary connections between star-forming galaxies and active black holes.

Dr. Andreea Petric has been a Science Fellow at the Gemini North Observatory since November 2013, and she has also been a member of the Physics and Astronomy faculty at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. She received her PhD from Columbia University with a thesis on X-ray scattering halos, and she was a postdoctoral fellow at California Institute of Technology, where she worked on infrared (IR) and millimeter observations of interacting galaxies and galaxies hosting Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). Her current research focuses on near-IR observations with Gemini of the impact of AGN on the interstellar medium of their host galaxies.

The Maunakea Skies program will be hosted by ‘Imiloa Planetarium Technician, Emily Peavy, who will provide observational highlights of the current night sky over Hawai‘i, and point out prominent constellations and stars visible during this time of year.

‘Imiloa’s monthly Maunakea Skies planetarium presentations are held on the third Friday of each month. Cost is $8 for Individual, Dual, Kupuna and Family Members; $6 for Patron Members; Free for Silver, Gold, and Corporate Members. Non-member rate is $10. Pre-purchase tickets at the ‘Imiloa front desk or by phone at 932-8901.

‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i is located at 600 ‘Imiloa Place in Hilo, off Komohana and Nowelo Streets at the UH Hilo Science and Technology Park. For more information, go to www.imiloahawaii.org, or call (808) 932-8901.black hole (2)

Dec 23 15

Expanding Access and Inspiring Future Scientists

by Anna Liu

Japan Foundation for Promotion of Astronomy Awards Grant to ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center

Hawaiʻi Island schoolchildren will enjoy greater access to educational experiences at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center in 2016, thanks to the generosity of the Japan Foundation for Promotion of Astronomy (JFPA) through Subaru Telescope. Earlier this month, the foundation awarded a grant of ¥800,000 ($7,200) to ‘Imiloa for its school field trip program, with the funds designated to help support roundtrip transportation costs for schools outside Hilo.

During the 2014-2015 school year, ‘Imiloa hosted a total of 11,290 students and teachers/chaperones on 266 different curriculum-related field trips…the equivalent of more than one on-site field trip each weekday ‘Imiloa was open. The majority of the visiting groups—53%—were elementary school students, with 16% from intermediate school and 21% from high school. Slightly over half of all student visitors came from schools here on Hawaiʻi Island, with the remainder traveling to Hilo from Oʻahu, the neighbor islands, the U.S. mainland, and overseas.

‘Imiloa Executive Director Kaʻiu Kimura comments, “We feel a very special responsibility to ensure broad access to our programming for local students and schools here on Hawaiʻi Island. This generous grant from the Japan Foundation for Promotion of Astronomy will be of tremendous assistance in meeting our goal of continuing to subsidize roundtrip bus transportation for all eligible Hawaiʻi Island classes. We are very grateful to the JFPA and Subaru Telescope for this vote of confidence in our programming.”

‘Imiloa’s signature field trips are customized in consultation with the organizing teacher to meet the needs of the grade level and include content that directly supported the curriculum unit which the students were studying. Each class is offered a choice of shows in ‘Imiloa’s fulldome 3-D digital planetarium, along with hands-on experiences in its interactive exhibit hall and native gardens. At the end of the two-hour field trip, students receive curriculum worksheets to take back and complete in class.

Typical of many comments is one from a Hilo-area teacher who organized a field trip for her class in 2015: “Many of our students receive free/reduced lunch, and finances are a struggle. So, for them to go to ‘Imiloa is such a luxury!” Another added, ““It is very difficult nowadays to get field trips approved and they must be highly linked to academic standards, so we are thankful that we can add ‘Imiloa to our list.”

Over the past 15 years, the Japan Foundation for Promotion of Astronomy through Subaru Telescope has made over $132,000 in grants to UH Hilo to support initiatives that foster education about astronomy in the local community. These have included the creation of exhibits and planetarium shows at ‘Imiloa, the construction of a traditional Hawaiian voyaging canoe, and scholarships for students participating in Camp ‘IMI-Possible.

To support field trips for local students, call ‘Imiloa at 808-932-8921 or make a gift online at Imiloa Field Trip. To learn how to arrange a field trip, to ‘Imiloa, please visit school-field-trips.

‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i is located at 600 ‘Imiloa Place in Hilo, off Komohana and Nowelo Streets at the UH Hilo Science and Technology Park. For more information, go to www.imiloahawaii.org, or call (808) 969-9703.

 

Dec 10 15

Creatures of the Sea Adorn Holiday Tree

by Anna Liu


Origami on Display at ‘Imiloa

Creatures of the Sea Adorn Holiday Tree

It takes a village to create an origami holiday tree—a village of folders from around the world! This week the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center unveils a unique holiday tree in its atrium, decorated with nearly 100 paper models folded by origami artists from several continents. The theme of the installation is “Creatures of the Sea” with a 7.5’ lighted tree serving as a backdrop for colorful paper schools of fish, sea mammals, seaweed, and even a surfer on surfboard riding a curling wave.

The origami models include yellow tangs, mahimahi, and mempachi; angel-, angler-, box-, damsel-, and butterfly-fish; marlin, sharks and barracudas; sea horses, sea snails and crabs; moray eels, manta rays, a coelacanth, and an octopus family; a humpback whale and her calf; and even Hawaiʻi’s state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapuaʻa.

Folding was done across the mainland U.S., Europe, and South America, as well as here in Hawaiʻi, and artists included some of the leaders of the modern origami movement, including Michael LaFosse and Richard Alexander of Origamido in Massachustts, and Sok Song of New York City.

The Kusudama star on the top of the tree was folded locally for ‘Imiloa by Dr. Julien Lozi, Senior Optical Scientist at Subaru Telescope, from a pattern designed by Ekaterina Lukasheva. Dr. Lozi’s work was displayed at ‘Imiloa earlier this year as part of the highly acclaimed “Epic Origami” exhibit organized by Waimea-based artist Bonnie Cherni.

“Exploring the intersections of paperfolding and science has been an exciting new programming arena here at ‘Imiloa, and we are happy that our origami holiday tree will continue this theme and give the community another reason to come in and visit,” says Kaʻiu Kimura, ‘Imiloa’s Executive Director.

Most of the origami models on the ‘Imiloa tree were previously displayed on a holiday tree at the Japan Airlines check-in counter at Kona International Airport in 2009. That project was organized by a longtime JAL staff member with close connections to Origami USA, the educational and cultural arts organization which has created an attention-getting origami holiday tree at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City for over 40 years. At his invitation, origami artists folded and donated models for the JAL tree under the theme of “The Sea Around Us” in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Hawaiʻi statehood.

‘Imiloa’s origami tree will be on display into January in the center’s atrium at 600 ‘Imiloa Place in Hilo, off Komohana and Nowelo Streets at the UH Hilo Science and Technology Park. The ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. For more information, go to www.imiloahawaii.org, or call (808) 969-9703.

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Dec 3 15

Mapping the Milky Way Without Leaving Earth

by Anna Liu

A Look at Ourselves from the Outside
Mapping the Milky Way Without Leaving Earth

The Milky Way Galaxy is perhaps the most remarkable structure visible to our eyes in the night sky. But because our solar system lies inside the galaxy, we are only able to view the Milky Way from our vantage point on the inside. What would the Milky Way look like if we could see it from the outside? Join Dr. André-Nicolas Chené of Gemini Observatory to explore “Mapping the Milky Way Without Leaving Earth” at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center’s next Maunakea Skies program on December 18, 2015 at 7 pm.

It is only in the last century that astronomers learned that the universe is not just one big assembly of stars and nebulae, etc., but is actually made up of countless separate galaxies, some larger and some smaller than the Milky Way. While we can now study the structure of neighbor galaxies in some detail, it is not so easy to obtain a complete picture of our own Milky Way…a feat comparable to trying to look at one’s own face before mirrors were invented.

Making the challenge more difficult is the fact that dust, gas, and stars block the visible light from many parts of our galaxy, so while we can look out in some directions and view the more distant universe, in other directions we can see only our nearby neighborhood. Moreover, our view of the 2-dimensional image of the Milky Way projected on the sky tells us very little about its depth.

In this Maunakea Skies presentation, Dr. Chené will provide an up-to-date description of the Milky Way and introduce some of the powerful techniques that astronomers have developed to measure distances, characterize astronomical objects, and map structures in our galaxy. Using the data visualization tools in ‘Imiloa’s digital dome, he will take the audience through our galaxy’s spiral arms, to encounter stars, star clusters, and dust clouds, and use the light of the twinkling stars to tell us what (and where) they are.

Dr. André-Nicolas Chené

Dr. André-Nicolas Chené

Dr. André-Nicolas Chené is Assistant Scientist at the Gemini Observatory. He studied stellar physics and the atmospheres of massive stars at the Université de Montréal and worked as a research associate at the National Research Council of Canada in Victoria. He later held a joint postdoctoral position at the Universities of Concepcion and Valparaiso, both in Chile. His work and passion for astronomy have brought him to many beautiful places in the world, including Hawaiʻi, where he is currently pursuing research on the most massive stars and star clusters in the Milky Way. He is also an active science team member of the European Southern Observatory’s public survey of the central part of the Milky Way, which produced many of the images and figures which he will share in this talk.

The Maunakea Skies program will be hosted by ‘Imiloa Planetarium Technician, Emily Peavy, who will provide observational highlights of the current night sky over Hawai‘i, and point out prominent constellations and stars visible during this time of year.

‘Imiloa’s monthly Maunakea Skies planetarium presentations are held on the third Friday of each month. Cost is $8 for Individual, Dual, Kupuna and Family Members; $6 for Patron Members; Free for Silver, Gold, and Corporate Members. Non-member rate is $10. Pre-purchase tickets at the ‘Imiloa front desk or by phone at 969-9703.

‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i is located at 600 ‘Imiloa Place in Hilo, off Komohana and Nowelo Streets at the UH Hilo Science and Technology Park. For more information, go to www.imiloahawaii.org, or call (808) 969-9703.

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Nov 25 15

Twelve Teas of Christmas

by Anna Liu

‘Imiloa Celebrates the Holidays
With A Special Afternoon Tea Chat!

‘Imiloa Astronomy Center celebrates the holiday season with a festive Afternoon Tea Chat on Sunday, December 6, 2015 at 11:30 a.m. Treat someone special or invite friends and family to join you as JoAnn Aguirre presents “The Twelve Teas of Christmas.” This final Tea Chat of 2015 will feature twelve different teas in a highly anticipated event. Aguirre’s talk will be followed by live holiday music while guests partake in the special teas, accompanied by scones and desserts provided by Teaching Tea, and dainty sandwiches created by Chef Jackie Tan-De Witt of Moonstruck Patisserie. These delicious refreshments will be presented on an eclectic collection of fine china.

Joann Aguirre has enjoyed tea all of her life. She is the owner of Teaching Tea (a soon-to-be online store) and continues to feed her passion for tea by being involved with the Hawaii Tea Society and collaborating with the local tea farmers. Always willing to teach and share her knowledge, Aguirre has offered Tea Chats as popular monthly events at ‘Imiloa for the past two years.

Tickets for this event are $50 for members and $60 for non-members and can be purchased by visiting ‘Imiloa’s Guest Services Desk or by calling (808) 969-9703.

‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i is a world-class informal science education center located on the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo campus. ‘Imiloa is a place of life-long learning where the power of Hawai‘i’s cultural traditions, its legacy of exploration and the wonders of astronomy come together to provide inspiration and hope for generations. The Center’s interactive exhibits, 3D full dome planetarium, native landscape, and programs and events engage children, families, visitors and the local community in the wonders of science and technology found in Hawai‘i. It is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday (closed Mondays). For more information, visit the website at www.imiloahawaii.org.

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