Hawaii is Earth's connecting point to the rest of the Universe. The summit of Mauna Kea on the Island of Hawaii hosts the world's largest astronomical observatory, with telescopes operated by astronomers from eleven countries. The combined light-gathering power of the telescopes on Mauna Kea is fifteen times greater than that of the Palomar telescope in California -- for many years the world's largest -- and sixty times greater than that of the Hubble Space Telescope.
Pictures of Mauna Kea
History of Astronomy in Hawaii

The Players - Astronomers and students on the summit with amateur telescopes
Mike Connelley
IRTF Graduate Assistant
Dr Josh Walawender
IfA Postdoctoral Fellow

Astronomers and technicians must acclimatize when coming from sea level to work at the summit. For this reason, "mid-level" facilities are provided at an altitude of 2,800 meters (9,300 ft). These facilities were constructed in 1982 and have been named in honor of Ellison Onizuka, an astronaut from the Big Island who died in the 1986 Challenger disaster. The Onizuka Center also includes a Visitor Information Station which is open to the public. It contains exhibits about the mountain and its observatories, offers evening sky-viewing opportunities, and provides guided tours of the summit.

The Players - VIS Management and staff, amateur astronomers and students at 9200 feet on Mauna Kea
David Byrne
Visitor Information Station
Sam Benigni
Visitor Information Station
Kaanohiokala Pea
Tour Driver
Arnott's Lodge

Mike checking the tracking on this C11 with a Canon 10D on a Losmandy G-11 mount
Coronado CaK 70mm with a Canon Digital Rebel XT on a
Josh on the Sun with the Coronado, with the twin Kecks and the Subaru behind
Big Brother
"I think that went well. We had fun up at the VIS, had a good numberof visitors that came up to see the transit, and quite a few more that just happened to be visiting Mauna Kea. Good times where had by all,except Sam who complains of a sore back from sitting hunched over with his head under the sun shield for 5 hours straight." BB