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Apr 29 16

May Maunakea Skies: 3D Printing and the UH 2.2m Telescope

by Brea Aamoth

Maunakea Skies
Presented by: 
Luke McKay from the Institute for Astronomy (IfA)
Fri. May 20, 2016
Time: 7:00pm
$10, $8 members (member level discounts apply)



3D printing is one of the new technologies making life easier for designers and engineers, and more fun for hobbyists. To learn more about this technological advancement, join us at Imiloa’s May Maunakea Skies talk on Friday, May 20 at 7:00p.m. with Luke McKay from the Institute for Astronomy (IfA).


In a fun introduction to technology, McKay will include time-lapse videos, a live demonstration of 3D printing and a hands-on comparison of items printed in plastic versus those printed with other computer-aided machining (CAM).


McKay will discuss how the UH 2.2m (“88 inch”) telescope and the UH Institute for Astronomy are beginning to implement the use of 3D printing. He will also demonstrate the ongoing efforts to upgrade the 2.2m telescope on Maunakea, along with some science results the telescope has helped to produce.


‘Imiloa’s monthly Maunakea Skies program includes observational highlights of the current night sky over Hawai‘i, hosted by Planetarium Technician Emily Peavy. Audiences will 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 Kupuna, Individual, Dual, Kupuna and Family Members; $6 for Patron Members; Free for Silver, Gold, and Corporate Members.



Apr 27 16

Nano Exhibit Coming Soon to ‘Imiloa! Imagine and Discover a World You Can’t See!

by Brea Aamoth

The Nano Exhibit is now Open! 

‘Imiloa’s newest exhibit, Nano, is an interactive tool that engages family audiences in nanoscale science, engineering and technology. This hands-on exhibit presents the basics of nanoscience and introduces some real world applications.

So what is nano-science? It refers to the understanding and controlled manipulation of very tiny structures on the ‘nanoscale’, that’s a billionth of a meter wide!

For example, the iridescent color of a butterfly’s wings, the ‘sticky’ feet of geckos and the self-cleaning property of kalo leaves are all examples of nanoscience that motivates new technologies like stain-resistant fabrics and self-cleaning windows.

How small is a nano?

A freckle is about 1 millimeter wide
1 millimeter = 1,000,000 nanometers


Strand of Hair
A hair is about 0.1 (one tenth) of a millimeter wide
0.1 millimeter = 100,000 nanometers


Red Blood Cell
A red blood cell is about 10 micrometers wide
10 micrometers – 10,000 nanometers



A bacteria cell is about 1 micrometer wide
1 micrometer = 1,000 nanometers

A virus is about 0.1 (one tenth) of a micrometer wide
0.1 micrometer = 100 nanometers


Cell Membrane
A cell membrane is about 10 nanometers wide



Sugar Molecule
A sugar molecule is about 1 nanometer wide




An atom is about 0.1 (one tenth) of a nanometer wide


Some experts think that nano technologies may transform our lives – similar to the way that the automobile and personal computer have changed how we live and work.


Apr 6 16

‘Imiakea Series: Millennials Who Mālama

by Brea Aamoth

Date: Thurs., April 28
5:30pm – 7:30pm
Location: UH Hilo College of Hawaiian Language: Haleʻōlelo building in the Lumi Pāhiahia
Cost: Free


Hawaiian Language Immersion Graduates Talk about Balancing Tradition and Technology in April’s ʻImiākea Series

The core of ʻImiloa’s mission is inspiring future generations to continue a Hawaiian tradition of exploration and discovery through modern science and technology. To further this tradition, the community is invited to join ‘Imiloa’s ʻImiākea series, aimed at expanding our understanding of all that Maunakea represents. In this month’s ʻImiākea event, held on Thursday, April 28 from 5:30p.m. to 7:30p.m., we look into Hawaiʻi’s future through the eyes of the millennial generation that has the kuleana to mālama our Hawaiʻi.

Hawaiian Immersion Graduates; Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu School

Hawaiian Immersion Graduates; Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu School

This free community event located at the UH Hilo College of Hawaiian Language will feature an evening of interactive dialogue as a panel of Hawaiian immersion graduates talk about balancing tradition and technology. Like the 92 million others in their generation, millennials have come of age during a time of rapid technological growth and change. Thus, innovation and development are not goals for their future; they are givens. Strategizing and navigating the transformation necessary to our future livelihood lies in the hands of these “change agents.” Having been raised as the new generation of fluent Hawaiian speakers grounded in tradition and culture lends to a worldview distinct from their fellow millennials.


“ʻImiloa is about bringing people, ideals, and different perspectives together to learn from each other in a uniquely Hawaiian way,”  said Kaʻiu Kimura, Executive Director of ‘Imiloa. “The vision for ʻImiloa as a bi-lingual informal science center was born from the same Hawaiian language revitalization movement that these young adults participated in. They are now well into their careers, from advocates and cultural advisors to development consultants and educators; all of them community leaders in their own ways. We are excited to spend this time with them and gain insight to their thoughts on the change and innovation critical to Hawaiʻi’s future.”

This event will be located at Haleʻōlelo, Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani, the Hawaiian Language College’s building, in the Lumi Pāhiahia. Haleʻōlelo is located just down Nowelo Street from ‘Imiloa towards UH Hilo’s main campus. Join us for the entire evening, from the opening pule, and the screening of a short film featuring some of our panelists, to the interactive panel discussion itself, and finally some “talk story” over refreshments.

The ‘Imiākea: Discovering Maunakea series consists of monthly events hosted by ‘Imiloa, ranging from performances and hands-on workshops with practitioners, to interactive panel discussions with experts in various fields, and community experiences.



Apr 6 16

Global Warming and a Voyage to Other Planets: Join us at April’s Maunakea Skies with Dr. Nobuo Arimoto

by Brea Aamoth

Date: Friday, April 15
Time: 7:00pm – 8:00pm
General Admission Tickets: $10
Member Tickets: $8

‘Imiloa Presents Dr. Nobuo Arimoto, Director of Subaru Telescope

Earth’s average temperature has risen by 1.4 degrees over the past century, and it is projected to rise another 2 to 11.5 degrees over the next 100 years. If global warming continues at this rate, and if the Earth becomes uninhabitable, what shall we do? If we were to relocate, what planet would be most habitable for us: Mars, Venus or a planet outside our solar system? Discover answers to these questions as Dr. Nobuo Arimoto, Director of Subaru Telescope/National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, describes the potential consequences of global warming in April’s Maunakea Skies at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center on Friday, April 15 at 7:00 p.m.

Dr. Arimoto will lead a planetarium tour of the solar system and beyond, highlighting discoveries made by Subaru Telescope. He will also discuss exoplanets, or extrasolar planets, which are planets outside of our solar system that orbit a star other than the sun. Since the first discovery of exoplanets in 1988, over 2,000 have been identified. Using Subaru Telescope’s large 8.2 meter (27 feet) diameter primary mirror and pioneering technologies, coupled with superb observation conditions of Maunakea, Hawai‘i based astronomers have discovered dozens of exoplanets. April’s Maunakea Skies will feature these ongoing efforts to find exoplanets.

Dr. Arimoto began an intense interest in astronomy when he was 11 years old, when a neighbor showed him how to use a telescope. He went on to become a student of astronomy at Tohoku University, where he received his Ph.D. in astronomy in 1980. He became Director of the Subaru Telescope in April of 2012. He focuses his scientific research on understanding galaxy evolution and the properties of individual stars within 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. General admission cost is $10; $8 for Kupuna, Individual, Dual, Kupuna 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.

Apr 5 16

2016 Merrie Monarch Cultural Enrichment at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center

by Brea Aamoth

‘Imiloa’s Cultural Enrichment Programs during Merrie Monarch week were filled with live music, hula, educational presentations and celebration. Check out the videos below for a recap of our programming during Merrie Monarch week!

Hula Performances by UNUKUPUKUPU:

UNUKUPUKUPU emerged in 2000 out of Hawaiʻi Community College’s I Ola Hāloa Hawaiian Studies Program. UNUKUPUKUPU serves the learner, employee and community of both Hawaiʻi Community College and the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. For more information on the performances by UNUKUPUKUPU, Click Here.

UNUKUPUKUPU is under the direction of Dr. Taupōuri Tangarō.


Hula Drama Hānau Ke Ali’i: Born is a Chief by Hālau Nā Kīpu’upu’u:

Hālau Nā Kīpu’upu’u shared a glimpse of their unique Hānau Ke Ali’i hula drama, the life story of the renowned warrior, King Kamehameha the Great. Illustrated through ancient storytelling, hula, chant and Hawaiian martial arts, Hānau Ke Ali’i is a composite of untold and unpublished stories of Kamehameha. These stories were collected from the elders of the Waimea and Kohala districts who are lineal descendants of Kamehameha. In preparation for this project, Hālau Nā Kīpu’upu’u collaborated with 3,000 Waimea community members to create authentic pieces of art and artifacts, bringing their hula drama to life.

Hālau Nā Kīpu’upu’u is under the Direction of Kumu Hula Micah Kamohoali’i.


Hula Performances by Hula Hālau O Kou Lima Nani Ē:

In celebration of 30 years of Hula Hālau O Kou Lima Nani Ē, Kumu Hula ‘Iwalani Kalima and her ‘ōlapa (dancers) shared their stories and dance as the next generation of hula under the teachings of the late and beloved Uncle George Na’ope. Keeping his legacy alive, Hula Hālau O Kou Lima Nani Ē performed their Hula Ka Wā Kahiko (ancient dances shared through generations), followed by a few hula ‘auana (modern day hula).

Hula Hālau O Kou Lima Nani Ē is under the Direction of Kumu Hula ‘Iwalani Kalima.


Live Music by Mark Yamanaka

Musical Performances by Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award Winner, Mark Yamanaka, helped us celebrate Hawaiian music and culture during Merrie Monarch week. This talented musician, vocalist, composer and proud father shared with us some of Hawaii’s most popular songs as well as some original compositions, featuring songs about both his daughter and son.


Book Signing by the authors of Hānau Ka Ua: Hawaiian Rain Names.

Presentation and Book Signing by Collette Akana and Kiele Gonzalez,  authors of Hānau Ka Ua: Hawaiian Rain Names.
Their recent publication is the fullest record of Hawaiian rain names and lore to date. Drawing on oral tradition and literature, their work is a culmination of approximately three hundred ‘ōlelo Hawai’i primary sources from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries including chants, songs, laments and narratives. Their presentation included hula performances and stories.


A Papakū Makawalu Presentation: He Inoa No Hi’iakaikapoliopele
Viewing our Natural Environment through a Cultural Lens: Hi’iakaikapoliopele is popularly known as the favorite, and most beloved sister of Pele, the volcanic goddess. In that sense, much of her name recognition is due to Pele and her story. But who is Hi’iaka and what is her story? Palm Brandt and Ku’ulei Higashi Kanahele gave us more insight and answers to these questions during their presentation.

With Ku’ulei Higashi Kanahele and Pomai Brandt

Mar 24 16

Constellation Camp at ‘Imiloa – A Success!

by Brea Aamoth

Forty-eight keiki in grades kindergarten through third grade enjoyed four action-packed days of exploration, navigation, experimentation and fun at ‘Imiloa’s Spring Camp ‘IMI-Possible! This spring session was themed Constellation Camp: Mapping the Night Time Sky. 


The children discovered and explored the four navigational star lines that guide our voyagers as they set course and direction to their upcoming destinations. The stories within these stars are named from historical events or people, or also migrations from the Pacific Islands and elsewhere. Today, these stories can help us make decisions that strengthen our families and communities.


An example of one of the stories shared with the children pertains to the stars of Humu. These stars are named after a Hawai‘i Island navigator whose children saved themselves by floating overnight in the rolling waves of the Ka‘ie‘iewaho Channel between O‘ahu and Kaua‘i, all by navigating the stars! This story provided us a great opportunity to teach about buoyancy, the science of floating.

By sharing these constellation stories through the use of arts, crafts, and hands-on science experiments, the students achieve a more complete understanding of our star lines. This kind of multi-sensory learning helps keiki acquire the tools they need to further their life-long learning skills.


In this series of Camp ‘IMI-Possible, the kids also learned about gravity and black holes by exploring ‘Imiloa’s CyberCANOE exhibit. They learned about color and temperature of stars, like how blue stars are actually hotter than red stars, through play-dough art and activities. Science experiments were executed to teach about density, buoyancy, air pressure, reflection, refraction, Newton’s laws and how we find constellations.


Constellation Camp ran from Monday, March 21 through Thursday, March 24. ‘Imiloa features multiple educational and fun intersession programs throughout each year. For more information on youth exploration and intersession camps at ‘Imiloa click here.






Mar 14 16

Hānau ka Ua me ka Makani: Hawaiian Rain and Wind Names Presentation and Book Signing at ‘Imiloa

by Brea Aamoth

Join us on as we journey across the Hawaiian Islands through hula, mele and mo’olelo to explore the rains and winds of the land with authors Collette Leimomi Akana and Kiele Gonzalez. Their recent publication, Hānau ka Ua, is the fullest record of Hawaiian rain names and lore to date, drawing on oral tradition and literature, including approximately three hundred ‘ōlelo Hawai’i primary sources from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries containing chants, songs, laments and narratives. Book-signing to follow, as well as a hula workshop by Akana, who is chum hula of Hālau Hula o Nā Momi Makamae.

The presentation and book signing will be the opening event at ‘Imiloa’s Merrie Monarch cultural enrichment programs on Wednesday, March 30 from 10:00am to 11:30am. Pre-sale general admission tickets to this session are $10 ($8 for members) and $15 the day of the event. This event is part of the 3-day cultural enrichment programs at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center that run from March 30 – April 1. For full event details click here.

Mar 10 16

Merrie Monarch Cultural Enrichment Programs at ‘Imiloa

by Brea Aamoth

When: March 30, March 31 and April 1
Where: ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center
Cost: Pre-sale Tickets: $10 per session
($8 per session for members)
Day-of Tickets: $15 (until supplies last)

In celebration of the 53rd Annual Merrie Monarch Festival, ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center will host three days of cultural enrichment programming, Wednesday, March 30 through Friday, April 1. This series is organized to complement and honor one of Merrie Monarch’s major purposes: the perpetuation, preservation and promotion of the art of hula and Hawaiian culture through education.

“The Merrie Monarch Festival is an important platform for sharing the history and culture of Hawai’i with thousands of people worldwide. It is a privilege each year for ‘Imiloa to help extend the impact of the festival by offering related cultural enrichment programs for the benefit of both our local and visitor communities,” states Ka’iu Kimura, Executive Director of ‘Imiloa.

MW-020514-mossmanThe opening day of events (March 30) at ‘Imiloa will showcase Hānau ka Ua me ka Makani, a recent publication on Hawaiian rain names and lore by Kamehameha Schools educators, Collette Akana and Kiele Gonzalez, from 10:00 am to 11:30 am. A live musical performance by Hilo’s own Hōkū-award winner, Mark Yamanaka will follow that afternoon from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm.


The second day of events (March 31) will feature He Inoa no Hiʻiakaikapoliopele, A Papakū Makawalu presentation from 10:00 am to 11:30 am on Hi’iakaikapolipele. The presentation is by Pomai Brandt and Ku‘ulei Higashi Kanahele, who is a PhD student in Hawaiian and Indigenous Language and Culture Revitalization at Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. Afternoon Hula performances by UNUKUPUKUPU will include UNUOLEHUA I and UNUOLEHUA II, under the direction of Dr. Taupōuri Tangarō from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm.


The third and final day (April 1) will feature the hula drama Hānau Ke Aliʻi: Born is a Chief, performed by Hālau Nā Kīpuʻupuʻu under the direction of Kumu Hula Michah Kamohoali’i from 10:00 am to 11:30 am. The final event of our programming will feature hula performances by Hula Hālau O Kou Lima Nani Ē, under the direction of Kumu Hula ʻIwalani Kalima at 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm.


All Cultural Enrichment Programs will take place in ‘Imiloa’s Moanahōkū Hall. Tickets to each event will include access to ‘Imiloa’s interactive Exhibit Hall. Pre-sale tickets will be available for purchase on Tuesday, March 15 at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center’s front desk, or by calling 808-932-8901. General Admission ticket prices are $10 per session, and $8 per session for members. A limited supply of tickets will be available on the day of event for $15 per session.

Mar 3 16

Technology to Tour the Universe: Subaru Telescope Supports ‘Imiloa Upgrades

by Brea Aamoth

 On January 27, 2016, the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center hosted a private reception for corporate and gold members to preview three new exhibits made possible through the support of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and Subaru Telescope. Now on display in the ‘Imiloa Exhibit Hall, these exhibits offer dazzling technology which enables visitors to access—and even participate in—current astronomical research.

‘Imiloa’s intimate 3-D visualization space, the 4D2U Theatre, allows audiences to view astronomical data as if witnessing the unfolding of the universe. NAOJ donated the original 4D2U (“4D” for 3 dimensions of space plus time) Theatre when ‘Imiloa first opened in 2006, but their new technology upgrades now enable ‘Imiloa to offer customized “flyout” experiences, smoothly navigating from here on Earth through space to the edges of the known Universe. ‘Imiloa’s 4D2U Theatre remains the first and only system of its kind outside Japan.

‘Imiloa’s WorldWide Telescope exhibit is another visualization environment that enables visitors to step into a virtual telescope and navigate their way through images downloaded from the telescopes on Maunakea and elsewhere. Using simple hand motions, they are able to seamlessly pan and zoom across the night sky in a media-rich, immersive experience. The WorldWide Telescope uses open source software, so with the equipment donated by NAOJ, the possibilities are limitless!

Subaru Scientists explaining Project (PANOPTES)

Subaru Scientists explaining Project (PANOPTES)

The third exhibit introduces the Panoptic Astronomical Networked OPtical observatory for Transiting Exoplanets Survey project (PANOPTES) project, which is a “citizen science” effort being launched from Hilo to enable astronomy enthusiasts to help identify “candidate exoplanets” for large professional telescopes to follow up on. It is now believed that some percentage of exoplanets (planets orbiting stars) may have a surface temperature able to sustain liquid water and hence life outside our solar system.   PANOPTES will establish a network of robotic wide field imaging units that will be built and operated by citizen scientists using inexpensive digital cameras. One of these camera units has been donated and is currently on display in the ‘Imiloa Exhibit Hall.

Subaru Director Dr. Nobuo Arimoto

Subaru Director Dr. Nobuo Arimoto

The 2015 in-kind contributions from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and Subaru Telescope, including these three exhibits, totaled nearly $80,000 worth of technology, ranging from new computers and projectors to projector screens, iPads, 3-D glasses, and equipment hardware. Whereas the new exhibits are on public display for all ‘Imiloa visitors to experience, other pieces of the donated equipment will be powering ‘Imiloa’s work behind the scenes. These donations include a new Insta-On system that fully automates turning on and off the Exhibit Hall with a single switch; video monitors providing programming updates to diners in Sky Garden Restaurant; and a state-of-the-art ceiling-mounted projector and 248 ft. diagonal projection screen that bring video and presentations to life in Moanahōkū Hall!

The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan has been a strong supporter of UH Hilo since shortly after Subaru Telescope began operations in 1999, and, in turn, of the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center after it opened in 2006. ‘Imiloa Executive Director Ka‘iu Kimura commented, “We at are deeply indebted to NAOJ and Subaru Telescope for their exemplary corporate citizenship and for the many contributions they have made through ‘Imiloa to benefit the entire Hawai‘i Island community. As ‘Imiloa celebrates the 10th anniversary of our 2006 opening, we salute the visionary leadership of NAOJ and Subaru for their vote of confidence in ‘Imiloa and our joint commitment to inspiring the next generation of explorers and innovators!”


Mar 3 16

Join Us! Zoo in Space: Did Pigs Bees, Frogs, Spiders and Butterflies Really Fly in Space?

by Brea Aamoth

Date: Fri. March 18 at 7pm
Cost: $8 for members, $10 for non-members
(Member level discounts apply)

Have you ever wondered if any animals have flown in space?  Join us as Rob Kelso, Executive Director at the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) tells us about some unusual creatures who have buckled in and flown through space. Discover why these animals flew through space at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center’s next Maunakea Skies program on March 18, 2016 at 7:00 pm.

This entertaining program will also focus on some fascinating, and some humorous struggles of day-to-day life in outer space, like why astronauts don’t eat sliced bread! Learn about how astronauts shampoo their hair in outer space, and how they go about using the bathroom during space walks! Join us for a fun filled evening as we explore the secret world of Zoo in Space. The cost is $8 for members and $10 for non-members.

Kelso’s career in flight operations spans 21 years. He was selected to the Flight Director ‘Class of 1988’ following the Challenger disaster, which took the life of Hawaii’s Ellison Onizuka. He directed 25 Space Shuttle missions during the 1980’s and 1990’s.  He served 37 years at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, formerly holding a position as the NASA Shuttle Flight Director at NASA’s famed Mission Control Center.

During his time in Flight Control, Kelso was instrumental in launching Department of Defense (DoD) spacecraft aboard the Space Shuttle, beginning with overseeing the first DoD launch from Mission Control in January, 1985. He also served as NASA’s Mission Director, responsible for the launch and delivery of the Chandra X-Ray telescope, the last of the great NASA observatories sent into space by NASA. One of Kelso’s last roles at NASA was leading efforts to preserve and protect the Apollo lunar landing sites on the Moon.

‘Imiloa’s monthly Maunakea Skies planetarium presentations are held on the third Friday of each month. Each presentation begins with a tour of the current night sky, featuring stars, constellations, and planets visible to the unaided eye, in our stunning Hawai‘i Island skies.

Member Level Discounts Apply: Cost is $8 for 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 932-8901.