University of Hawaii
Institute for Astronomy
Annual Report 2003–2004
This report covers the period from 1 October 2003 through 30
September 2004, and was compiled in October 2004.
The Institute for Astronomy (IfA) is the astronomical research
organization of the University of Hawaii (UH). Its headquarters
is located in Honolulu on the island of Oahu near the University
of Hawaii at Manoa, the main UH campus. It also maintains offices
in Waiakoa on the island of Maui, and in Hilo on the island
of Hawaii. The IfA is responsible for administering and maintaining
the infrastructure for the Haleakala High Altitude Observatory
Site on Maui and for Mauna Kea Observatories (MKO) on Hawaii.
The scientific staff during this report period consisted of
Joshua E. Barnes, Ann M. Boesgaard, Fabio Bresolin, Schelte
J. Bus, Kenneth C. Chambers, Mark R. Chun, Paul H. Coleman,
Antoinette Songaila Cowie, Lennox L. Cowie, Harald Ebeling,
Christ Ftaclas, Donald N. B. Hall, James N. Heasley, J.
Patrick Henry, George H. Herbig (emeritus), Klaus-Werner Hodapp,
Esther M. Hu, Robert Jedicke, David C. Jewitt, Robert D. Joseph,
Nick Kaiser, Rolf-Peter Kudritzki (director), Jeffrey R. Kuhn,
Jing Li, Haosheng Lin, Michael Liu, Gerard A. Luppino, Eugene
A. Magnier, Eduardo L. Martín, Robert A. McLaren, Karen
J. Meech, Roberto H. Méndez, Donald L. Mickey, Tobias
C. Owen, Andrew J. Pickles, John T. Rayner, Bo Reipurth, David
B. Sanders, Theodore Simon, Alan Stockton, István Szapudi,
David J. Tholen, Alan T. Tokunaga, Eric V. Tollestrup, John
L. Tonry, R. Brent Tully, Richard J. Wainscoat, Jonathan P.
Williams, and Gareth Wynn-Williams.
Postdoctoral fellows included Hervé Aussel, Fabrizio
Bernardi, Crystal Brogan (James Clerk Maxwell Fellow), Gang
Chen, Gayoung Chon, Yanga R. Fernández (SIRTF Fellow),
Pablo Fosalba, Tommy Grav, Lisa Kewley (Hubble Fellow), Jan
Kleyna (Parrent Fellow), Andisheh Mahdavi (Chandra Fellow),
Jun Pan, Jana Pittichová, Paul Price, Norbert Przybilla,
Luca Rizzi, Thomas Stanke (Alexander v. Humboldt Fellow),
and Miguel Urbaneja.
James Armstrong, Brian Barris, Peter Capak, Michael Cushing,
Catherine Garland, Catherine Ishida, and Scott Sheppard completed
requirements for the Ph.D. degree.
The other graduate students during the report period were
Sean Andrews, Elizabeth Barrett, Sandrine Bottinelli, Li Hsin
Chien, Michael Connelley, Scott Dahm, David Donovan, Luke Dundon,
Trent Dupuy, Hai Fu, Ben Granett, David Harrington, Henry Hsieh,
Yuko Kakazu, Jeyhan Kartaltepe, Dale Kocevski, Cheng-Jiun Ma,
Rita Mann, Joseph Masiero, Elizabeth McGrath, Nicholas Moskovitz,
Megan Novicki, Maria Pereira, Mark Pitts, Steve Rodney, Barry
Rothberg, Scott Sheppard, Brian Stalder, Wei-Hao Wang, Kathryn
Whitman, Mark Willman, and Bin Yang. For more information about
the graduate program, see www.ifa.hawaii.edu/gradprog/.
Visiting colleagues included Amy Barger (University of Wisconsin-Madison),
Miwa Goto (Subaru Telescope), Masateru Ishiguro (The Institute
of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan), Robert Lupton (Princeton),
Nicholas Scoville (Caltech), Paula Skody (University of Washington),
and Ana Maria Teodorescu (University of Rome).
2.1 New Faculty
The UH Astrobiology Lead Team (see sec. 8) added eight
postdoctoral fellows, who arrived in June through September
2004. Though most are not astronomers, all have been hired
by the IfA. They are Andrew Boal (organic chemistry), Mark
Brown (microbiology), Lysa Chizmadia (geochemistry), Audrey
Delsanti (astronomy), Brian Glazer (marine biology/biochemistry),
Nader Haghighipour (astronomy), Norbert Schorghofer (astronomy),
and Weijun Zheng (chemistry).
2.2 Honors and Awards Received
NASA awarded the NASA Public Service Medal to Robert Joseph.
The citation, signed by the NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe,
reads, "For outstanding leadership while serving as Director,
Infrared Telescope Facility, enabling extraordinary planetary
science research and exceptional contributions to the NASA
Solar System Exploration mission."
The Royal Society elected IfA astronomer Lennox Cowie a fellow
of the society.
The Hawaii chapter of Achievement Rewards for College Scientists
(ARCS) selected graduate student Scott Dahm as the winner of
both the 2004 Helen Jones Farrar ARCS Scholarship in astronomy
and the ARCS Student of the Year award. In addition, IfA astronomer
John Tonry was named ARCS Scientist of the Year.
The University of Hawaii Board of Regents awarded Tonry a
2004 Regents' Medal for Excellence in Research. NASA presented
IfA Director Rolf Kudritzki with a certificate recognizing
the IfA's Lunar Ranging Experiment (LURE) for its "support
and dedication to the NASA Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) Program
and the International Laser Ranging Service."
Kudritzki was elected chair of the Association of Universities
for Research in Astronomy (AURA) board of directors for a one-year
term, effective 1 July 2004.
3 MAUNA KEA OBSERVATORIES
The telescopes in operation during the report period were the
UH 2.2-m and 0.6-m telescopes; the 3-m NASA Infrared Telescope
Facility (IRTF), operated by the UH under a cooperative agreement
with NASA; the 3.6-m Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT), operated
by the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Corporation on behalf of
the National Research Council of Canada, the Centre National
de la Recherche Scientifique of France, and UH; the 3.8-m United
Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT), operated in Hawaii by the
Joint Astronomy Centre (JAC) based in Hilo on behalf of the Particle
Physics and Astronomy Research Council of the United Kingdom;
the 15-m James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT), a submillimeter
telescope operated by the JAC on behalf of the United Kingdom,
Canada, and the Netherlands; the 10.4-m Caltech Submillimeter
Observatory (CSO), operated by the California Institute of Technology
for the National Science Foundation (NSF); the Hawaii antenna
of the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), operated by the National
Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO); the 10-m Keck I and Keck
II telescopes of the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated
by the California Association for Research in Astronomy for the
use of astronomers from the California Institute of Technology,
the University of California system, NASA, and UH; the 8.3-m
Subaru Telescope, operated by the National Astronomical Observatory
of Japan (NAOJ); the 8.1-m Frederick C. Gillett Gemini Telescope
(Gemini North), operated by AURA on behalf of an international
partnership that includes the United States, the United Kingdom,
Canada, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, and Chile; and the Submillimeter
Array (SMA), operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
in collaboration with the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics
of the Academia Sinica of Taiwan. The SMA, which comprises eight
6-m antennae, was completed during the report period and was
officially dedicated on 22 November 2003.
4 HALEAKALA OBSERVATORIES
Astronomy facilities on the summit of Haleakala include the
Mees Solar Observatory, which supports IfA solar scientists
in data acquisition by running diverse observational programs
with the Imaging Vector Magnetograph (IVM), Haleakala Stokes
Polarimeter, Mees CCD Imaging Spectrograph (MCCD), Mees White
Light Telescope, and Coronal Limb Imagers; SOLARC (Scatter
Free Observatory for Limb Active Regions and Coronae), a 0.5-m
off-axis coronagraphic reflecting telescope; the Advanced Electro-Optical
System (AEOS) Haleakala Atmospheric Characterization Project,
which supports the AEOS telescope by providing comprehensive
atmospheric characterization and timely prediction of inclement
weather conditions at the observatory site; the Faulkes Telescope
North (see sec. 9.3); and the 2-m Multicolor Active Galactic
Nuclei Monitoring (MAGNUM) Telescope, which is a collaboration
between the University of Tokyo and UH. More information about
these projects can be found at www.ifa.hawaii.edu/haleakala/.
LURE Observatory ceased operations and closed at the end of
the contract period in June 2004. LURE Observatory had operated
as a Lunar and Satellite Laser Ranging Station (LLR/SLR) since
the early 1970s. Since its founding, NASA/Goddard Space Flight
Center funded LURE Observatory with a series of five-year contracts.
Unfortunately, severe budget cuts forced NASA to drastically
reduce support for LURE, and the IfA decided to not pursue
a contract after the end of the 1999-2004 contract. The LURE
site will be used by the prototype Pan-STARRS telescope (PS1)
now in development (see sec. 6).
In addition, the Air Force Research Laboratory operates the
Maui Space Surveillance System (MSSS), a state-of-the-art electro-optical
facility combining operational satellite tracking facilities
with a research and development facility. The MSSS houses the
largest telescope in the Department of Defense, the 3.67-m
Advanced Electro Optical System (AEOS), as well as several
other telescopes ranging from 0.4 m to 1.6 m.
During the report period, in December 2003, Haleakala was
selected by the National Solar Observatory and its partners
as one of three possible sites for the 4-m Advanced Technology
Solar Telescope (ATST).
Hokupa`a-85, the curvature-sensing adaptive-optics system
being built by the IfA for Gemini South, was essentially completed
within the report period. Laboratory tests indicate that it
should be capable of ~ 80% Strehl ratios under normal seeing conditions at 2.2 mm.
NSFCAM, a 1-5.5 mm camera with a 256 × 256 InSb array, is a NASA IRTF facility instrument.
Work started in May 2004 to install a 2048 × 2048 array
for use with the adaptive optics system.
The Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS)
project will create a wide-field imaging system with an innovative
design. It is supported by a grant from the Air Force Research
Laboratories. Kaiser is the principal investigator.
Pan-STARRS will be composed of four 1.8-m telescopes observing
the same region of sky simultaneously. Each telescope will
have a 3o field of view and be equipped with a CCD
focal plane mosaic with 109 pixels. The spatial
sampling of the sky will be about 0.3 arcsec. In survey mode,
e.g., searching for potential killer asteroids, Pan-STARRS
will cover 6,000 deg2 per night. The whole available
sky as seen from Hawaii will be observed three times during
the dark time in each lunation.
Development of a prototype telescope, PS1, in the former LURE
Observatory on Haleakala is underway. PS1 will be a full-scale
telescope with a full focal plane. It is intended to stimulate
the development of and to shake down the numerous software
and hardware subsystems and to allow integration of these subsystems
prior to deployment of the full Pan-STARRS array. First light
for PS1 is scheduled for January 2006, with deployment of the
full array within another two years. See pan-starrs.ifa.hawaii.edu/public/ for
7 CENTER FOR STAR AND PLANET FORMATION
IfA astronomers and their colleagues at other observatories
in Hawaii inaugurated the Center for Star and Planet Formation
(CSPF) in 2002. Colleagues at the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics
and Planetology provide additional expertise about meteorites.
The CSPF strives to facilitate communication among researchers
who specialize in different disciplines, each of which provides
insight into important but limited aspects of how stars and
During the report period, CSPF held about 35 weekly seminars
by IfA staff and visitors to keep CSPF members abreast of the
latest research and developments in the field. The seminars
take place in Manoa or Hilo, with a video link between the
two sites. A program to bring long-term visitors to IfA is
underway. For more information, see www.ifa
The UH Astrobiology Lead Team is one of 16 funded by NASA's
Astrobiology Institute (NAI). Astrobiology research at UH focuses
on water, including its origins in space, how it helps form
biologically important molecules, its part in the planet formation
process and its delivery to Earth, and its role as the habitat
of, and chemical enabler for, life. In June through September,
eight astrobiology postdoctoral fellows arrived to begin their
research at UH (see sec. 2.1).
An Astrobiology Winter School will be held in Hawaii in January
2005 and 2007. The theme for the 2005 Winter School is Water
on Earth and in Space. The school is open to both graduate
students and postdoctoral fellows from institutions throughout
the world, with graduate students being given priority.
Karen Meech, the principal investigator for the UH Astrobiology
Lead Team, inaugurated a graduate-level astrobiology seminar
during the UH fall 2004 semester. The course covered research
in a variety of areas related to the water theme.
The annual open house at IfA Manoa took place on 18 April to
begin the AstroWeek observance. There were lectures, hands-on
activities, and exhibits aimed at people of all ages. About 1,400
9.2 Activities on Hawaii
The Hilo-based Office of Science Education and Public Outreach
(SEPO), under the direction of Gary Fujihara, began operations
in October 2003. Science education endeavors consisted of recurrent
visits to 13 public, private, and charter primary, secondary,
and post-secondary schools in East Hawaii and Waimea. Forty-one
visits featured activities ranging from multimedia presentations
to interactive projects, and have reached over 350 students.
SEPO participated in the Workplace Readiness Program, mentoring
a student intern in the production of promotional videos for
the IfA and the Onizuka Memorial Foundation.
Along with staff in electronics technology, machining, and
software engineering, SEPO participated in six career fairs,
which were attended cumulatively by more than a 1,000 high
school and college students.
Public outreach activities included interaction with several
civic groups and membership on six committees, including the
Hawaii Island Economic Development Board Science and Technology
Committee and the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce Education
SEPO participated in and coordinated several public events
that have reached over 30,000 people, including the "Got Sol?" Solar
Viewing Day, AstroDay, Onizuka Science Day, the Perseids Meteor
Program, the Venus Transit Remote Program, Mauna Kea Observatories
Open House in University Park, the Waimea Aloha Festival, the
St. Joseph Country Fair, and the Hawaii County Fair.
An informal public lecture series entitled "AstroTalks" was
created in collaboration with the University of Hawaii at Hilo
Physics and Astronomy Department. AstroTalks feature live video
webcasting and streaming video archiving capabilities utilizing
UHH's Tegrity hardware and software package.
Mauna Kea Observatory tour packages that included meals at
the Hale Pohaku mid-level facility, and nature walks and Hawaiian
culture presentations at the Visitor Information Station were
provided to over 325 visitors in 32 groups.
9.3 Faulkes Telescope
The 2-m Faulkes Telescope North (FTN) captured its first image
with its three-color CCD scientific camera on 22 December 2003.
A joint project of the Institute for Astronomy and the Faulkes
Telescope Corporation, FTN is one of the two largest telescopes
in the world exclusively for the use of students in kindergarten
through college. The second is FTN's twin located in Australia.
The main aim of the FTN project is to stimulate students'
interest in science, math, and technology through use of a
real, research-grade, telescope.
FTN operates in two modes: real time and off-line. Both have
been run from the United Kingdom (UK), but the Hawaii real-time
operating system was scheduled to be acquired, installed, and
tested in October 2004 so that students in Hawaii, as well
as those in the UK, will be able to control the telescope through
a Web interface. In the real-time mode, the user has direct
control of the telescope and is able to point it at any object
in the sky. An image can be displayed within minutes of completing
an observation, and webcam images of the telescope are displayed
to show users what is happening at FTN.
During the report period, a spectrograph developed at the
University of Leicester was installed and was being integrated
into the telescope operating system. This new instrument will
allow students to take spectra of astronomical objects in addition
to imaging them.
An infrared camera called QUIRC (Quick Infrared Camera) that
has worked extremely well on the UH 2.2-m and Canada-France-Hawaii
telescopes on Mauna Kea has been donated to FTN by IfA. It
will be transported to Haleakala and installed in late 2004.
This will give children in Hawaii the ability to observe in
the infrared from their classrooms during the early school
A series of pilot programs, mostly in preparation for science
fair projects, are being carried out by selected teachers and
their students. A pool of teachers, primarily graduates of
the TOPS program (Towards Other Planetary Systems; see previous
annual reports or www.ifa.hawaii.edu/tops/),
has been assembled and is being queued up for observing time.
After a "grand opening" in January 2005, the FTN should be
fully available to all schools in Hawaii. Development of support
materials, lesson plans, observing projects, etc., is continuing,
and an effort to translate all materials into the Hawaiian
language has begun.
9.4 Research Experiences
The Research Experiences for Undergraduates program, funded mainly
by a five-year grant from NSF, continued for a fourth year. Eight
students from the mainland and one from UH spent 10-12 weeks
in the summer as full-time research assistants under the supervision
of a faculty member. The students, their home institutions, and
faculty mentors were Meredith Hughes (Yale, Williams), Eric Bellm
(Harvard, Electronics Engineer P. Onaka and Tokunaga), Jonathan
Blazek (Harvard, Sanders), Joshua Ruderman (Stanford, Ebeling),
Zuzana Srostlik (Vermont, Hu), Charlotte Christensen (Carleton,
Simon), Bonnie Meinke (Berkeley, Jedicke), and Chase Ellis (Redlands,
9.5 ALII Program
ALII, the Astrobiology Laboratory Institute for Instructors, is the K-12
formal education outreach program of the UH NASA Astrobiology Institute Lead
Team. ALII held its inaugural course, Instructional Strategies for Astrobiology
I, 14-18 June at UH Manoa. Fourteen teachers from Oahu and Tennessee participated.
The goal of the workshop, which was organized by IfA Curriculum Development
Specialist Mary Kadooka, was "to introduce the teachers to astrobiology research
findings and inspire them to want to learn more."
The Friends of Hawaii Astronomy, the institute's affiliated private support
group for education and outreach, increased its membership from 30 to more
than 90 during the report period. Friends and donors contributed over $70,000
to the IfA during that period, both for discretionary purposes and specific
The Friends enjoyed several activities and events, ranging from their
first annual meeting, talks exclusively for the Friends and others open
to the public, stargazing, the annual Open House, and tours and field trips,
all of which were geared toward educating members and the broader community
about astronomy and the graduate education and research programs of the
IfA. They also received the second edition of the IfA's poster calendar,
quarterly newsletter, monthly star charts, a reprint of a research report,
and periodic e-mailed, mailed, or faxed bulletins of late-breaking astronomy
Planning over the course of the year involved the creation of a master
Friends events calendar to be coordinated with annual gift solicitations.
10 SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
Listed below are the major areas of research at the IfA, followed by the
names of those active in that area (some names are listed more than once).
Further information about research activities can be found at www.ifa.hawaii.edu/research/,
on the home pages of individual faculty members (accessible through www.ifa.hawaii.edu/faculty/),
and in the list of publications (see sec. 11).