Wednesday, July 24, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, June 30, 2017
Institute for Astronomy celebrates 50 years of discovery
By News Release @ 4:13 PM :: 4178 Views :: Higher Education

Institute for Astronomy celebrates 50 years of discovery

From UH News June 29, 2017

Since its founding on July 1, 1967, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Institute for Astronomy (IfA) has played a role in almost every significant astronomical discovery. IfA is responsible for the observatories on Maunakea, the most productive astronomy site in the world, and on Haleakalā, the world leader in asteroid and Near Earth Object detection. IfA recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Institute for Astronomy 50th anniversary publication cover with telescope and stars on the cover

UH President David Lassner said, “The Institute for Astronomy is clearly one of our superstars in research.”

IfA graduate and Native Hawaiian Heather Kaluna was born and raised in Pāhoa on the Island of Hawaiʻi and will begin teaching astronomy as an associate professor at UH Hilo in the fall.

“The maintaining and strengthening of IfA’s outreach programs, which weren’t around when I was growing up, are important opportunities to continue nurturing IfA’s student body with more of Hawaiʻi’s keiki,” said Kaluna. She added that IfA outreach programs have the power to fill children with pride in the “world class science taking place here at home.”

IfA is looking forward to another 50 years of cutting edge astronomy.


On Maunakea, all of the observatories will remain competitive for the foreseeable future. UH’s renovated 2.2-meter telescope will be upgraded with a new adaptive optics system. A specialized 10-meter telescope, able to collect thousands of spectra simultaneously, may replace the Canada-France-Hawaiʻi Telescope. Another important frontier is the Thirty Meter Telescope; IfA remains hopeful that construction will begin in early 2018.


The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, the largest solar telescope in the world, will advance the frontiers of solar physics. The first Pan-STARRS telescope reports more discoveries of solar system objects and supernovae than all other current surveys combined. The second Pan-STARRS telescope will improve the odds of finding new objects in the solar system, especially asteroids that come close to the Earth. The ATLAS telescope, paired with one on Maunaloa, will find dangerous asteroids on a collision course with the Earth. A dedicated high-contrast PLANETS(Polarized Light from Atmospheres of Nearby Extra-Terrestrial Systems) telescope is also planned.


IfA hopes to build additional ATLAS telescopes in the southern hemisphere. There is a proposal for a Hawaiʻi Orbiting Space Telescope to conduct sky surveys, and also the possibility of working jointly with the European Space Agency’s Euclid mission to measure the cosmological acceleration of the universe.

IfA Director Günther Hasinger said, “With these wonderful resources and an ongoing investment in our world-class faculty and students, IfA will pursue a vibrant range of research programs, making discoveries we cannot even imagine today. Through our education and community programs, we will engage the next generation of astronomers with the amazing opportunities we enjoy in our own backyard, and ensure that the IfA and Hawaiʻi remain exceptional places for astronomy for at least 50 more years.”

PDF: Download Five Decades of Discovery for more on IfA’s history


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii