mountain profile Institute for Astronomy University of Hawaii


Maintained by LG

Pan-STARRS is the largest single research project at the Institute for Astronomy

In its current configuration, called PS-1, it consists of a single 1.8 meter diameter telescope at the summit of Haleakala, fitted with the world's largest digital camera. 

A second similar telescope, PS-2, is under construction near PS-2. Eventually it is hoped to build a four-telescope observatory on the summit of Mauna Kea. 

The concept, design, and construction of the telescope are described on the IfA's Pan-STARRS website

PS-1 undertakes regular multi-color surveys of the whole northern sky and automatically compares images taken at different epochs in order to isolate objects that are changing either their brightness of their position.

Part of its time is spent searching for "killer" asteroids on a collision course with the Earth, but it also collects data for many different kinds of astronomy: planetary, stellar and cosmological.

The telescope is operated from the IfA's ATRC in Maui, which also handles the very large data handling requirements of the project.

The operating costs of the telescope are shared among ten astronomical institutes around the world, including IfA, who together form the PS1 Science Consortium. 

The astronomers at these institutions collaborate in a dozen scientific projects which are listed here