mountain profile Institute for Astronomy University of Hawaii

Institute for Astronomy Open House 2009

Maintained by LG

For immediate release
March 12, 2009


Dr. Gareth Wynn-Williams
Institute for Astronomy
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822

Mrs. Karen Rehbock
Assistant to the Director
Institute for Astronomy
University of Hawaii at Manoa


High-Resolution Photos (captions on right):


solar eclipse
Figure 1: 796 Kb TIFF


girl with scope
Figure 2: 2.4 Mb JPG

solar eclipse
One of the short lectures at the open house will be about the August 2008 solar eclipse. Image courtesy Dr. Shadia Habbal, IfA.

UH Manoa’s Institute for Astronomy will hold its annual Open House from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 5.

At the Open House, there will be activities for children, such as Astro-Jeopardy, planetarium shows, rocket launching, and sundial making. New this year will be a futuristic model moon base built by members of the Lego Enthusiasts Association of Hawaii, plus a Mars rescue mission game in which children will assemble rescue pods and race them across simulated Martian terrain.

Visitors of all ages are invited to short lectures on topics such as the 2008 eclipse, solar storms, the origin of oxygen and the latest news about planets in distant star systems. They also will be able to search for spots on the sun, see themselves with infrared eyes and learn how to use free software to explore the Universe on their own computers.

Dozens of UH astronomers, including some of those responsible for the killer-asteroid-hunting Pan-STARRS project, will be on hand to answer visitors’ questions.

Several other Oahu astronomical organizations will also be represented at the Open House, including the Hawaiian Astronomical Society, the Bishop Museum Science Center, Ironwood Observatory and the Windward Community College Center for Aerospace Education.

For more information about the Open House, see

This event will be part of the worldwide 100 Hours of Astronomy ( celebrating the International Year of Astronomy 2009. IYA 2009 ( commemorates the 400th anniversary of Galileo's use of a telescope to study the sky.


Figure 1. Eclipse image taken on August 1, 2008, in the Gobi Desert in western China by the IfA Eclipse Team. Dr. Shadia Habbal, the team leader, will give one of the short lectures at the Open House. Image courtesy Dr. Shadia Habbal, IfA.

Figure 2. Young girl delights in looking through a telescope for the first time at the 2006 IfA Open House. Photo by Katie Whitman.

Public Service Announcement Video

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.