mountain profile Institute for Astronomy University of Hawaii

Annual Astronomy Open House on April 12

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For immediate release
April 1, 2014


Dr. Roy Gal
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Ms. Louise Good
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The International Year of Light is the theme for of the annual Institute for Astronomy Open House. Poster by Karen Teramura.

The Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa will hold its annual Open House on Sunday, April 12, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at its Manoa headquarters, 2680 Woodlawn Drive. Admission and parking will be free.

The theme for this year is the International Year of Light proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly to raise awareness of the importance of light and light-based technologies for sustainable development.

Light-related activities will include observing the sun through telescopes, astrophotography, an infrared camera that will allow you to see what you look like at infrared wavelengths, a talk about the invisible (to our eyes) universe, and a spectroscopy school where you will learn how astronomers use the rainbow of light from distant objects to understand their composition and temperature.

You will be able to experience air-powered rockets brought by UH Manoa SUPER-M (as in mathematics), hands-on physics toys brought by the staff of the Windward Community College Imaginarium, a 3-D printer demonstration, and a wind tunnel courtesy of the Pacific Aviation Museum.

infrared camera
Open House goers will have the chance to see what they look like in the infrared. Photo by Zack Gazak.

The Bishop Museum is bringing its brand new Digitalis portable planetarium so you can explore the night sky, and the Polynesian Voyaging Society will be there, too.

The CAVE, a 3-D virtual environment, will again be available for tours, and as usual you will be able to Ask an Astronomer, who will be wearing a funny hat. For the keiki, there will be face painting, sundial making, and bottle-rocket launching.

There will be talks and videos on a variety of astronomy-related topics. Dr. Brent Tully will be there to explain the Laniakea Supercluster, a vast collection of over 100,000 galaxies whose Hawaiian name honors the Polynesian navigators who used their knowledge of the heavens to cross the immense Pacific Ocean.

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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 Maunakea. The Institute operates facilities on the islands of Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii.