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Antarctica Astronomy

by Brea Aamoth on May 29th, 2015
 Amundsen-Scott Station

The South Pole Telescope at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station


Next Maunakea Skies Talk June 19, 2015

Speaker: Professor Walter Gear, East Asian Observatory

Topic: Astronomy in Antarctica

Antarctica is the coldest, driest, windiest continent on earth. While inhospitable for humans and most animals, it is an excellent site for astronomy, indeed the best in the world for some types of observations.

Professor Gear will review the geography and properties of Antarctica before describing his own experiences in reaching and spending time at the South Pole, and explaining some of the world-leading astronomical results that have been obtained there.

Dr. Walter Gear is a professor at Cardiff University, Wales, UK and is currently spending time at the Eastwalter gear Asian Observatory in Hilo, which has taken over operations of the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) from the UK. Professor Gear has been coming to the Island of Hawai’i for over 30 years to make use of the outstanding skies on Maunakea, including living in Hilo for two years in the 1990s when he led commissioning and operation of the SCUBA camera on the JCMT. Gear’s research is largely concerned with astronomical instrumentation, the Cosmic Microwave Background and Star-formation in Galaxies.

Maunakea Skies program will be hosted by an ‘Imiloa planetarium staff who will provide observational highlights of the current night sky over Hawai‘i, pointing out prominent constellations and stars one can see during this time of year.

The 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, or call (808) 969-9703.


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