Skip to content

Meteoritics: the Science of Rocks from Space

by vrecinto on May 10th, 2014

fujihara mks 14

Next Maunakea Skies Talk May 16, 2014

Speakers:  Gary Fujihara, UH Institute For Astronomy

Topic:Meteoritics: the Science of Rocks from Space

Time: Friday May 16, 2014 at 7 p.m. in the ‘Imiloa Planetarium

Join Gary Fujihara’s Maunakea Skies talk about Meteoritics: the Science of Rocks from Space. The talk is in the ‘Imiloa planetarium on May 16, 2014 at 7 pm.

Fujihara, UH Institute for Astronomy, will  take the audience on a brief history of man and meteorite, separating fact from myth, leading to the current model of meteoritics, or the science of rocks from space.

Meteorites are rocks that have dropped from space, surviving their fiery deliverance onto the surface of planet Earth. Unlike the rocks found on the crust of the Earth however, many of these denizens of space have remained pristine and preserved much in the state they began, accreting out of the solar nebula 4.56 billion years ago. This allows scientists to extract clues out of the stones’ mineralogical and chemical makeup, helping to establish theories on the formation and evolution of our solar system.

Most meteorites originate from the asteroid belt, a region of the solar system between the orbits of planets Mars and Jupiter, and a family of meteorites is believed to have come from a specific one, Asteroid 4 Vesta. A small minority of meteorites hail from the moon and the red planet. How do we know their origins and are there other parent bodies of meteorites? What are meteor showers and do they produce meteorites? Where are most meteorites found? Have meteorites ever hit something or someone? What kinds of meteorites are there and what do they look like? How do you know if you have found a meteorite and what you do to authenticate it?  Join Fujihara as he helps to shed light on these questions.

Gary Fujihara was born in Honolulu, and has been a resident of Hilo since 1980. With a background in graphic arts, music and computer software engineering, Gary heads the Office of Science Education and Public Outreach at UH Institute for Astronomy. While he was a telescope operator at Subaru in 2002, Gary founded Astro Day, a nationally recognized and award winning annual event that attracts over 15,000 people every year in Hilo. Gary has been a NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Solar system Ambassador since 2004, and is also a member of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the Astronomical League, and the International Dark Sky.

Chris Phillips, ‘Imiloa planetarium staff,  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.


Comments are closed.