University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy
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IfA Publications

For immediate release
April 3, 2008


Dr. James "J.D." Armstrong
Maui Technology Education & Outreach Specialist
Institute for Astronomy, Maui

Ms. Claudine Wales
Administrative Specialist
Institute for Astronomy, Maui

High-Resolution Photos:

solar eclipse
496 kb JPEG (caption on right)

Shadia Habbal
Shadia Habaal
1.2 Mb TIF


Institute for Astronomy
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Maui Public Talk:
Total Solar Eclipses and the Secrets of the Sun

solar eclipse
Eclipse image taken by Prof. Miloslav Druckmuller in Libya on March 29, 2006. Used by permission.

Dr. Shadia Rifai Habbal of the IfA will give a talk entitled "Total Solar Eclipses and the Secrets of the Sun" at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 11 at the Maikalani building in Pukalani. This Maui Maikalani Community Lecture is sponsored by the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy.

Total solar eclipses are one of Nature's most wonderous displays. They reveal the presence and ever-changing shape of the solar corona, the Sun's extended atmosphere. Without eclipses, the Sun could have held onto some of its secrets up to the advent of space exploration. In this talk, Dr. Habbal will present some of the key discoveries made during total solar eclipses. She will conclude with highlights of the discoveries made by the IfA group she led to observe the 2006 eclipse from the Sahara in Libya.

Dr. Habbal arrived at the IfA in January 2005. Born in Damascus, Syria, she speaks fluent Arabic and FrenchFirst . She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Damascus, a master's degree in physics from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, and her PhD from the University of Cincinnati in Ohio. After a year at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, she moved to the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, where she spent more than two decades. In 2000, Dr. Habbal was appointed to a chaired professorship at the Institute of Mathematical and Physical Sciences of the University of Wales in Aberystwyth. Her areas of research include the origin and evolution of the solar wind and solar magnetic fields, as well as eclipse observations.

The address of Maikalani, also known as the Advanced Technology Research Center, is 34 Ohia Ku Street, Pukalani, above Kamehameha Schools in the Kulamalu Town Center (the first light after King Kekaulike High School, just off Kula Highway). For a map, go to

Admission is free, and street parking is available. For more information, call 573-9500 on Maui.

Founded in 1967, the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa conducts research into galaxies, cosmology, stars, planets, and the sun. Its faculty and staff are also involved in astronomy education, deep space missions, and in the development and management of the observatories on Haleakala and Mauna Kea.

Established in 1907 and fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the University of Hawaii is the state's sole public system of higher education. The UH System provides an array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees and community programs on 10 campuses and through educational, training, and research centers across the state. UH enrolls more than 50,000 students from Hawaii, the U.S. mainland, and around the world.




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