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Jan 31 17

‘Imiloa’s Maunakea Skies Talk: Exploring Mars with 150,000 Earthlings

by Brea Aamoth

Date: Fri. Feb. 17
Time: 7pm
Cost: $10, $8 for members (member level discounts apply)

‘Imiloa presents Dr. Meg Schwamb, Assistant Scientist at Gemini Observatory

Photo Courtesy of Dr. Schwamb

The Red Planet of Mars is a dynamic world. Its icy south pole is sculpted by the never-ending cycle of freezing and thawing carbon dioxide ice, causing materials to travel through hundreds of thousands of dark fans. When observed from orbit, these fans appear as long dark streaks that are thought to be jets of material erupting from the Martian surface. By studying these unique features we can better understand Mars’ climate and how it differs from Earth, opening up a whole new wealth of knowledge. Learn more about Mars exploration at ‘Imiloa’s Maunakea Skies talk on Friday, February 17 at 7:00 p.m. with Dr. Meg Schwamb, Assistant Scientist at Gemini Observatory.

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Dr. Schwamb will introduce the Planet Four project, a project in which researchers have collaborated with over 150,000 “citizen scientist” volunteers worldwide. Connected through the power of the internet, volunteers map these fans and other surface features formed by carbon dioxide jets helping planetary scientist characterize surfaces on Mars. Dr. Schwamb will discuss the discoveries made by these citizen scientists and explain how people can get involved in exploring Mars from the comfort of their own home.

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Dr. Schwamb received her doctorate in Planetary Science from the California Institute of Technology in 2011. Prior to her work with Gemini, she was a National Science Foundation fellow at Yale University, and previously was an Academia Sinica Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan. She has collaborated with hundreds of people to search for new planets outside of our Solar System, and study the climate of Mars. She is a member of the science team for the Zooniverse’s Planet Four projects using human pattern recognition to map wind-blown seasonal fans appearing on Mars’ South Pole.

Photo Courtesy of Dr. Schwamb

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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.

Jan 27 17

Working with Perspective: Existence Through the Eyes of Cosmology

by Emily Peavy

Reflection of Maunakea Skies with Dr. Doug Simons, Director of Canada France Hawaii Telescope (CFHT)” 

‘Imiloa invited Dr. Doug Simons, Director of the Canada France Hawaii Telescope, to the planetarium where he presented on modern cosmological concepts and how we can fold these ideas into our perspective on existence itself in Maunakea Skies: Cracking the Code of Existence, Universal Questions & Answers from Maunakea

Working with Perspective
In today’s world science, religion and culture are often portrayed to be conflicting ideals constantly at odds with each other. However, Dr. Simons explained when one steps away from this thought the concepts of religion, culture, philosophy and science can merge into common desires of self exploration, helping us to better understand the Universe around us.

Although we strive to collectively work together, Dr. Simons explains that conflict still occurs; in particular around what we consider to be sacred. “In these escalated situations people will become entrenched in their own perspectives,” Simons said. “Instead of working together and communicating we are left in a cacophony of shouting not listening to each other.”

We must really do better than this.” Dr. Simons emphasizes, “Science, religion, culture, environment all must move forward and all need balance in this world. We cannot afford to freeze tension into our community as we look towards the future.” All of these ideas look for truth in the universe around us; in science Astronomers explore the nature of the universe itself through Cosmology.

The Beginning of Our Understanding
Cosmology can be described as humankind’s lasting vision and question. Its core questions are universal: ‘Why and how do we exist?’ ‘Where did the Universe come from?’ ‘How can something come from nothing?’ Cultures from around the world have been asking these questions since the beginning of time. In Hawaiian culture, the Kumulipo teaches us that everything in the Universe comes from ; from infinite, chaotic darkness.

Today’s cosmological Universe is incredibly complex; but as always it is useful to start at the beginning. We know that the early Universe was very bright, very hot and expanding very fast. After about 300,000 years, gasses cooled enough to form atoms. We are able to study this period of the Universe using the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR). The CMBR can be described as the leftover redshifted light of the early Universe (which can only be observed in microwave wavelengths). After matter collected into atoms the ‘Dark Age’ of the Universe began and the first stars, and eventually galaxies, were able to form.

Bringing Balance to the Universe
As we consider matter we should also consider a very famous equation: E=mc2. This very basic equation states that equivalent energy (E) can be calculated as the mass (m) multiplied by the speed of light (c) squared; teaching us that matter is a highly concentrated and localized form of energy. Understanding the origin of the Universe requires an understanding of energy. The Universe stores energy as matter as it continues to expand. If all matter is energy, then the total energy of the Universe should be incredibly unbalanced, and yet it is not. This begs the questions, is nothing actually something? And is something actually nothing?

Slide courtesy of Dr. Simons, Quote by: Richard Feynman

Additionally, current observations of the universe indicate that the Universe is flat, as opposed to having a negative curvature (like a saddle) or a positive curvature (like a sphere). This expresses a unique balance to the Universe.  

Existence: A Cosmological Question
The basic properties of the Universe, from the mass of a proton to the force of gravity, became established at the Big Bang and remain unchangeable. From the very first moment, our Universe has remained balanced in terms of curvature and energy content, but the probability of such a Universe existing is staggering. Yet, against these extraordinary odds, the Universe exists. As we tackle these cosmological questions we delve into the meaning of our own existence

Join us for ‘Imiloa’s next Maunakea Skies talk with Dr. Meg Schwamb of Gemini Observatory who will discuss “Exploring Mars with 150,000 Earthlings” on Friday, February 17 at 7:00 p.m. 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. Tickets can be pre-purchased at ‘Imiloa’s front desk, or over the phone by calling 808-932-8901. General admission tickets are $10, $8 for members (member level discounts apply).

Jan 12 17

FREE ‘Imiloa Memberships for all UHH and HawCC Students!

by Brea Aamoth

‘Imiloa is pleased to be offering FREE memberships to all registered UHH and HawCC students! Fly through the Universe in our full-dome surround sound planetarium, learn the epic creation story of the Hawaiian Islands in our popular ‘Maunakea: Between Earth and Sky’ show, stroll through our award-winning Native Gardens and adventure through the state-of-the-art interactive Exhibit Hall! Your free Student Membership allows you unlimited access to all daily planetarium shows, full access to the exhibit hall, discounts on Friday evening programming, like the Led Zeppelin Rock Show, and discounts in Sky Garden Restaurant and the ‘Imiloa Gift Shop. Take advantage of this wonderful free opportunity by bringing your student ID card to ‘Imiloa’s front desk to register for your FREE student membership!

For questions about Student Memberships, please email membership@imiloahawaii.org, or call 808-932-8901. Student Memberships are valid for one year.

‘Imiloa wishes all enrolled UHH and HawCC students a successful, safe and fun semester!

Jan 6 17

Cracking the Code of Existence: Universal Questions and Answers from Maunakea

by Brea Aamoth

‘Imiloa presents Dr. Doug Simons of Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT)
Date: Fri. Jan. 20
Time: 7pm
Cost: $10, $8 for members (member level discounts apply)

Real progress is being made in the remarkable yet notoriously difficult task of cracking the code of existence itself through advanced mathematics, physics and astronomy. New knowledge streaming from Maunakea’s summit is an essential part of this epic quest. Learn more about Cracking the Code of Existence: Universal Questions and Answers from Maunakea at ‘Imiloa’s Maunakea Skies talk on Friday, January 20 at 7:00 p.m. with Dr. Doug Simons, Executive Director of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT).

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Dr. Simons will delve into “precision cosmology,” a term he describes would have earned a chuckle from fellow astronomers when used not long ago. Cosmology studies the structure, evolution and origin of the entire Universe, and requires observations of objects near the edge of the visible Universe—making it increasingly difficult to make real progress. For centuries cosmology measurements have been notoriously incorrect, but times have changed. Measurements made over the past decade, including those using instruments on Maunakea, give real merit to the term “precision cosmology.”

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Combined with advances in high-energy physics which can replicate conditions of the Big Bang, 21st century cosmology is now yielding insights into some of the most perplexing questions we know how to ask, including “where did the Universe come from?” or, “how can you make something out of nothing?” As we search for the answers to these questions, we are lead to utterly astonishing insights, as we are forced to come to grips with the phenomenally improbable nature of our Universe.

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Interwoven with the marvels of precision cosmology, Dr. Simons will also share perspectives about the conflict over Maunakea and the challenges between science and culture. This misperception is easily challenged by probing far deeper than terms like ‘sacred’ or ‘science’ allow. These polarizing comfort zones melt away when confronted by fundamental truths spawned not by people, but nature.

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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.

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.

 

Dec 23 16

Solving Jupiter’s Mysteries with Juno and NASA Infrared Telescope Facility

by Emily Peavy

Maunakea Skies Reflection with Dr. John Rayner, Director of NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF)

‘Imiloa invited Dr. John Rayner, Director of the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (NASA IRTF) for his planetarium presentation titled Maunakea Skies: Jupiter, Juno and the IRTF. Dr. Rayner shared how his facility is working closely with NASA’s Juno mission to better understand the largest member of our Solar System.

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Dynamic Duo
NASA’s Juno spacecraft entered a 53-day orbit around Jupiter on July 4, 2016. Launched in 2011, Juno’s mission is to study the makeup of Jupiter’s immense atmosphere and gain a better understanding of how Jupiter was formed. While Juno is getting up close and personal with Jupiter, the NASA IRTF (located on Maunakea) is assisting the mission by carefully observing Jupiter in infrared wavelengths, in doing so NASA IRTF provides context to Juno’s data.

These 8 images were taken with IRTF to assist with the Juno mission. Each image is taken using a different wavelength and thus unlocks different information about Jupiter. 1.58 micron light sees the reflectivity of deep clouds. 1.64, 1.65, and 2.12 microns are sensitive to particles reflecting sunlight. 2.16 microns detect particles in Jupiter’s upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. 2.26 microns is sensitive to the materials near the poles.  3.8 microns detects clouds near 2-3 bars within Jupiter’s atmosphere. While 5.10 detects thermal emission as deeps as 5 bars into Jupiter’s atmosphere. View more of these images taken by NASA IRTF here:  http://junoirtf.space.swri.edu/browse

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Previous Team Ups and Unanswered Questions
This is not the first time that NASA IRTF gave ground-based context to a spacecraft mission traveling to Jupiter. In 1995, the Galileo mission began its orbit around Jupiter where it studied the moons and clouds of the giant planet. In 2003 Galileo ended his mission by plummeting through the atmosphere of Jupiter to study the makeup and layers of Jupiter’s immense clouds. On December 7, 1995 NASA IRTF carefully observed Jupiter as Galileo began his orbit, the infrared maps created by NASA IRTF accompanied the data collected by this mission. While Galileo provided us with new insight into Jupiter’s clouds, it raised more questions than it answered: What is the source of Jupiter’s immense magnetic field? Does Jupiter have a solid rock/ice core? Could Jupiter have migrated from further out in the solar system triggering the Late Heavy Bombardment? The answers to these questions could greatly affect our current models of planetary formation

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Juno and Her Experiments
As Juno orbits Jupiter, she will attempt to answer these questions by performing various experiments.  Gravity measurements strive to determine if Jupiter has a rock/ice core. The Microwave Radiometer on the craft will probe the atmosphere and measure water levels in the atmosphere. JEDI, JADE, and Waves will study the magnetic field of Jupiter and determine its connection to the atmosphere. While the UVS and JIRAM will detect chemical “fingerprints” of gases present in the clouds. And the basic JunoCam will take fantastic close up images of the large planet.

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Members of the public can even help determine what JunoCam will image next by visiting its website.
https://www.missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam
Juno Instruments: https://www.nasa.gov/images/content/567922main_junospacecraft0711.jpg

Infrared Map of Jupiter (Credit: NASA IRTF)

This science is additionally supported by observations by NASA IRTF, whose insights provide greater context to the flow of data that will come in from Juno. A goal of this team mission to provide a more detailed global map of Jupiter. Unfortunately when Juno entered its initial orbit there were complications which caused the spacecraft to be stuck in a longer (53 day) orbit, instead of the shorter orbits that were originally planned for the mission. While the spacecraft is able to conduct experiments in this 53-day orbit, it does take longer than if it was in its intended orbit. However NASA scientists are working on a solution to fix the long orbit problem.

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More instrument overview: http://spaceflight101.com/juno/instrument-overview/

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Join us for ‘Imiloa’s next Maunakea Skies talk with Dr. Doug Simons from Canada France Hawaii Telescope who will discuss Cracking the Code of Existence on Friday, January 20 at 7:00 p.m. 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. Tickets can be pre-purchased at ‘Imiloa’s front desk, or over the phone by calling 808-932-8901. General admission tickets are $10, $8 for members (member level discounts apply).

Dec 14 16

Categorizing Light and Seeing What’s in Between Stars

by Emily Peavy

Maunakea Skies Reflection with Dr. Mark Rawlings of East Asian Observatory

‘Imiloa welcomed Dr. Mark Rawlings from East Asian Observatory / James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in November where he gave a presentation titled Long Wavelength Eyes on the Cosmos. He discussed how astronomers utilize different types of telescopes and different wavelengths of light to study unique objects in the Universe..

Categorizing Light
Light, scientifically known as Electromagnetic Radiation, comes in many different forms. To understand and differentiate types of light, scientists have created the Electromagnetic Spectrum (EM Spectrum), which organizes light based off of energy and wavelength.

Humans are only able see a small portion of the EM Spectrum with the naked eye. Telescopes such as the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope and UKIRT Telescope allow humans to discover and see deeper portions of the Em Spectrum.

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Seeing what is between Stars
Spectroscopy is a process which allows scientists to see the “fingerprints” of what is causing light, and which types of materials may be interfering with light from an object. Dr. Rawlings utlizies this science as he studies the Interstellar Medium, the materials that exist between stars in the Milky Way. While the space between stars is mostly empty, there are small particles of dust (hydrocarbons, silicates) and gas. The largest of these dust grains are about the size of the particles that make up cigarette smoke. This is the material that over time is able to collect and form nebulae, stars and planets. The dust grains of the Interstellar Medium can absorb visible light and heat up, causing them to emit light in the infrared portion of the EM Spectrum.

Mysteries of the Interstellar Mediums are often exclusively studied using spectroscopy. One such mystery is the appearance of Diffuse Interstellar Bands (DIBs) in spectra of distant objects. DIBs are features of spectra caused by material in between stars, however the type of material that causes these features has remained a mystery for over 60 years. It is thought that these bands might be caused by hydrocarbons, such as those found in smoke (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) or even fullerene, which is commonly known as buckyballs.”

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The continuing study of this unique material between stars will help astronomers, such as Dr. Rawlings, provide new perspective on our little corner of the cosmos.

Pictures of the Whirlpool Galaxy; The left image is looking at Infrared light (taken with UKIRT) while the right compares visible light (in green, taken with Hubble) and Submillimeter light (red/blue taken with the JCMT)

Pictures of the Whirlpool Galaxy; The left image is looking at infrared light (taken with UKIRT. Image Credit: M51 WFCAM: UKIRT, ATC & CASU) while the right compares visible light (in green, taken with Hubble) and Submillimeter light (red/blue taken with the JCMT) Image Credit: Joint Astronomy Centre, University of British Columbia and NASA/HST/STScI

 

 

Pictures of the Orion Nebula using different wavelengths. Pictured left is a submilimeter light image taken with the JCMT (Image Credit: SCUBA-2 Orion: Gould Belt Survey & Carl Salji) and on the right is an infrared image taken with UKIRT (Image Credit: Credit: Joint Astronomy Centre; image processing by C. Davis, W. Varricatt.)

 

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!

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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.