mountain profile Institute for Astronomy University of Hawaii

Special Events

If you would like to be notified of future events by e-mail, send an e-mail to ifaevents@ifa.hawaii.edu.

For more information about events on Hawai‘i Island, see the website of the Mauna Kea Astronomy Outreach Committee.

Upcoming Events

Friday, May 29, 2015

Maikalani Community Lecture: "Laser Ranging at Haleakalā Observatories, 1972 to the Present--and the Future," Dan O'Gara, 6:30 p.m. at the Maikalani building in Pukalani, Maui. Free. Also streamed live online and on Second Life. Flier

The use of lasers (laser ranging, or LR) to make precise measurements to natural and artificial Earth satellites is of immense value to geodesy. Information on the movement of Earth's tectonic plates, its gravity field, and its orientation in its orbit can all be accomplished with high accuracy via LR. More recently, LR is being used to produce precise orbits of Earth-sensing satellites that monitor changes in Earth's climate. This talk is about the history and future of LR at Haleakalā Observatories, how LR measurements are used by scientists, and the instrumentation used to make the measurements.

August 3-12, 2015 Public events related to the International Astronomical Union General Assemby being held at the Hawai‘i Convention Center August 3-14, including star-gazing at Ala Moana Beach Park and lectures at the convention center.

Earlier Events

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Hilo AstroDay is May 2, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Prince Kūhiō Plaza. Family event with activities for all ages. Free.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Maikalani Community Lecture: "Life Around Our Active Star," Dr. Tom Schad, 6:30 p.m. at the Maikalani building in Pukalani, Maui. Free. Also streamed live online and on Second Life. Flier

Over the centuries, humanity has tuned its existence to Earth's seasons, created by our yearly travel around the Sun. At the dawn of the Machine Age, however, the seasons of the Sun itself proved influential to our progressing world. In this talk, we will explore the cycles of solar activity, and study the impact of these cycles throughout the heliosphere and on our modern society. We will learn about the interplay between new and old methods of studying solar epochs, and anticipate the great advances resulting from the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) currently being built on Haleakalā.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Save the date: Mānoa Open House, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the IfA, 2680 Woodlawn Drive in Mānoa. Family event with activities for all ages. Free.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Maikalani Community Lecture: "Making Telescopes to Look for Life in the Universe," Dr. Jeff Kuhn, 6:30 p.m. at the Maikalani building in Pukalani, Maui. Free. Also streamed live online and on Second Life. Flier

What kind of instrument does it take to study other planets? Exoplanet searches command a large fraction of the collective attention of the world astronomical community—but we have yet to build a telescope that is optimized to study distant planets. Most of the world's largest telescopes now being designed or built have general astronomical goals that aren't well matched to the problem of detecting life in the universe or studying the conditions on far-away exoplanets. I'll describe a project centered on Haleakalā called PLANETS—"Polarized Light from the Atmospheres of Nearby ExtraTerrestrial Systems." PLANETS will take a step forward toward studying these exoplanets and proving some of the new technologies we'll need to find life, or even other civilizations around other stars, in our corner of the universe.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Explorers of the Universe talk, "The Voyager Journey to Interstellar Space," by Edward Stone, professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology, former director of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and chief scientist for the Voyager Mission. Campus Center Ballroom, 7:30-9:00 p  .m. Free admission but tickets required. Get them at Ticketbud.  Letter-size poster (435 kb pdf)

 

Launched in 1977 to explore Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, the two Voyager spacecraft continued their journeys beyond the planets as they searched for the edge of the heliosphere, the giant bubble of wind surrounding the sun. Beyond the bubble lies interstellar space, the space between the stars filled with matter from the explosions of other stars and by the magnetic field of the Milky Way. After a thirty-five year journey taking it eleven billion miles from the sun, Voyager 1 became the first human-made object to enter interstellar space. Voyager’s journey of discovery continues as it begins to explore the space between the stars.

 

Monday, March 2, 2015 "Near Earth Asteroids: Threats & Strategies." Free public talk by Joseph Minafra, Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute, NASA Ames Research Center. 2 p.m., UH Hilo Science and Technology Building, room 108.
Friday, February 20, 2015

Maikalani Community Lecture: "The Fractal Nature of the Universe," Dr. Paul Coleman, 6:30 p.m. at the Maikalani building in Pukalani, Maui. Free. Also streamed live online and on Second Life. Flier

This talk will explore the Universe through the mathematical framework of fractal geometry. We will also discuss some of the resistance to these ideas that the author has encountered in modern cosmology.

Saturday, January 24, 2015 2015 Astronaut Ellison Onizuka Science Day, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. A day of science and space exploration! This is a free event. Online registration is open to students in grades 4-12, and parents and teachers of any grade level. This is the 15th anniversary of the Astronaut Onizuka Science Day and the 30th anniversary of Ellison Onizuka's first flight into space aboard the space shuttle Discovery, STS 51-C, which launched on January 24, 1985.
Friday, January 23, 2015

Maikalani Community Lecture: "Exploring Alien Seas," Guy E. Jette, 6:30 p.m. at the Maikalani building in Pukalani, Maui. Free. Also streamed live online and on Second Life.

There is strong evidence that planets and moons in our Solar System either currently have, or have had in the past, significant bodies of liquid on or below their surfaces. From Venus to the outer reaches of our stellar system, we'll take a look at the nature of these alien seas. We will try to understand why Earth has abundant liquid water, while both Venus and Mars no longer support liquid bodies on their surfaces. In the ourter Solar System, the icy moons of Europa and Enceladus are intriguing as likely locations for subsurface oceans of water, and possible abodes for life.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Maikalani Community Lecture: "How a Telescope Works," Dr. J. D. Armstrong, Maui Technology Education & Outreach Specialist, 6:30 p.m. at the Maikalani building in Pukalani, Maui. Free. Also streamed live online and on Second Life. Flier

Modern telescopes are powerful enough to see a candle on the moon and can cost over a billion dollars to construct. They significantly increase our understanding of the universe. The human eye, the world's largest telescopes, and phone cameras all have remarkably similar designs. In this talk, I will give simple geometric explanations of some of the fantastic optical systems.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Maikalani Community Lecture: "How to Build an Instrument for the New Solar Telescope on Haleakalā," Dr. Andre Fehlmann, 6:30 p.m. at the Maikalani building in Pukalani, Maui. Free. Also streamed live online and on Second Life. Flier

The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) that is currently being built on Haleakalā will be the most powerful solar telescope in the world. It will observe the Sun with unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution. In my talk I will present an update on the current status of the construction work as well as some of the unique capabilities of this new telescope. Then I will move on to talk about CryoNIRSP which is one of the two instruments being built for DKIST by the IfA. My goal is to convince you how much fun it is to design, build and test such a unique instrument – although there may be some stumbling blocks along the way.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Frontiers of Astronomy Community Event, "Clearing Our View of the Universe with Robo-AO," with IfA astronomer Christoph Baranec, 7:30 p.m., UH Mānoa Art Building Auditorium (room 132). Free Admission (Campus Parking $6). Poster

When we peer out into the Universe with ground-based optical and infrared telescopes, Earth's atmosphere limits the clarity of our vision. Adaptive optics (AO) systems counteract the blurring effects of the atmosphere and greatly increase the acuity of our observations. In this talk, Dr. Baranec will review the technology behind adaptive optics and talk about the world's first fully automated laser adaptive optics instrument, Robo-AO.

Dr. Baranec joined the faculty at the University of Hawai‘i's Institute for Astronomy in 2013. He is interested in pushing the limits of adaptive optics technology to shorter wavelengths, wider fields, and greater sky coverage, with the ultimate goal of broadening our understanding of the Universe through high-resolution imaging. His awards include a research fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (2014).

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 Lunar eclipse viewing, "Return of the Blood Moon," at the Bishop Museum, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Admission. Go to http://www.bishopmuseum.org/special/blood_moon.html for more information and to buy tickets.
Sunday, October 5, 2014 Solar viewing as part of Children & Youth Day, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on the grounds of the State Capitol and the surrounding area.
Friday, September 19, 2014

IfA Maui Open House, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Maikalani building in Pukalani, Maui. Free.

Look through a telescope, lab tours, bottle rockets, liquid nitrogen, science demonstrations. For more information, 808-573-9500. Flier

September 12–14, 2014 HawaiiCon, Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, Hawaii Island. IfA is a sponsor and will be providing speakers on scientific subjects, including killer asteroids, exoplanets, and black holes. We hope to also provide a remote observing experience.
Friday, August 29, 2014

Maikalani Community Lecture: "Remote Sensing of Martian "Life": Evidence from Haleakalā," Dr. Hiromu Nakagawa, 6:30 p.m. at the Maikalani building in Pukalani, Maui. Free. Also streamed live online and on Second Life. Flier

Recent extensive exploration of Mars by the US and Europe has provided a wealth of new information about our neighbor and has significantly changed our perspective on the red planet. Mars is sometimes called "a frozen water planet," but it almost certainly experienced a warm and wet climate in the past. The question, "Why and when did Earth and Mars diverge?" is essential for understanding how the the development of life depends on environment. Here we discuss our attempts to find evidence of life on Mars using dedicated instruments on Haleakalā.

August 1, 2014

Maikalani Community Lecture: "Beyond the (Visible) Fringe: The Tale of British Astronomy on Maunakea," Dr. Gary Davis, 6:30 p.m. at the Maikalani building in Pukalani, Maui. Free. Also streamed live online and on Second Life. Flier

Two of the telescopes on Maunakea are owned by the United Kingdom: the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope and the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope. Opened in 1979 and 1987 respectively, both telescopes observe the heavens using forms of light which cannot be seen with the naked eye. In this talk I will describe why we do this challenging type of astronomy, why we come to Maunakea to do it, what we have achieved here over the last three decades, and the imminent withdrawal of the UK from Hawaii. Along the way I may also reflect on the importance of astronomy and why science is such a powerful approach to understanding the world in which we live.

July 25, 2014

Maikalani Community Lecture: "Asteroid Grand Challenge," Jerry Isdale, 6:30 p.m. at the Maikalani building in Pukalani, Maui. Free. Also streamed live online and on Second Life. Flier

On June 18, 2013 NASA announced a Grand Challenge to "find all asteroid threats to human populations and know what to do about them" as part of NASA's Asteroid Initiative. The initiative consists of two separate but related activities: the Asteroid Redirect Mission and the Asteroid Grand Challenge. "

Maui Makers via its SpaceGAMBIT Program has a Space Act Agreement to collaborate with NASA on the Asteroid Grand Challenge. There are over half a million known asteroids in our solar system. A portion of these are Near Earth Objects (NEOs) that will approach Earth at some point. The hunt is accelerating to find other asteroids - NEO or otherwise - and Maui is at the forefront of the hunt with Pan-STARRS as humanity's premier asteroid hunting tool.

June 30–July 18, 2014

Astronomy programs at public libraries throughout the state as part of the UH Mānoa Outreach College's Statewide Cultural Exchange Program ( SCEP).

June 30, 10:00 a.m., Kahuku Public Library
Light and Spectra, by Geoff Mathews, UH Mānoa astronomy instructor
See how astronomers use the light given off by planets, stars, and galaxies to understand their composition and temperature. A talk and interactive activities for all ages.

July 9, 6:30 p.m., Waimānalo Public Library
Scale Model Solar System, with IfA graduate students Ehsan Kourkchi and Matt Hosek
Explore the solar system in a fun and interactive activity. Learn how big (or small) our home planet is, and how the sizes and distances of the planets in our solar system compare.

July 10, 2:00 p.m., Waimea Public Library (Kaua”i)
Daytime Solar Viewing, with Ifa graduate students Jason Chu and Laurie Urban
Learn a little about how the Sun works, and then view the Sun through specially filtered binoculars and telescopes. See sunspots, filaments, and flares (if there are any).

July 11, 3:00 p.m., Kaimukī Public Library
Scale Model Solar System, with IfA astronomer Roy Gal
Explore the solar system in a fun and interactive activity. Learn how big (or small) our home planet is, and how the sizes and distances of the planets in our solar system compare.

July 18, 1:30 p.m., Hanā Public Library (Maui)
Light and Spectra, with IfA's Maui Technology Education & Outreach Specialist, JD Armstrong
See how astronomers use the light given off by planets, stars, and galaxies to understand their composition and temperature. A talk and interactive activities for all ages.

 

June 13, 2014

Maikalani Community Lecture: "Supermassive Black Holes, Hypervelocity Stars, and Planets... Oh my!," Idan Ginsburg, 6:30 p.m. at the Maikalani building in Pukalani, Maui. Free. Also streamed live online and on Second Life. Flier

How do you get something as massive as a star to move over 2 million miles per hour? Where would such a star originate, and where might it go? Why are such "hypervelocity stars" important, and what can "hypervelocity planets" teach us? Dr. Ginsburg will answer all these questions (and more) in his talk.

May 23, 2014

Maikalani Community Lecture: "The Properties of Asteroids," Dr. J. D. Armstrong, 6:30 p.m. at the Maikalani building in Pukalani, Maui. Free. Also streamed live online and on Second Life. Flier

It has been two centuries since the first asteroid was discovered. We now know of about half a million asteroids. But what are they? Where did they come from? Where are they going? How do we know?

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sheraton Waikiki Explorers of the Universe public lecture: Prof. Alex Filippenko (UC Berkeley), "The Big Bang Theory, Inflation, and the Multiverse: An English Major's Introduction to the Birth and Early Evolution of the Universe" UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre, 7:30 p.m. Tickets free but required. Go to http://uhifa.ticketbud.com to obtain them. Do not call Kennedy Theatre. NOTE: Latecomers with tickets may not be seated, as people without tickets will be seated on a first-come, first-seated basis starting at 7:20 p.m.

Based on observations and theory, astronomers generally believe in a “big bang” origin for the cosmos—a hot, dense beginning probably characterized by exceptionally rapid expansion, when the Universe grew at a rate much faster than the speed of light. Very recently, compelling new evidence for such “inflation” was found from exquisite studies of the cosmic microwave background radiation, the afterglow of the big bang. Natural extensions of these ideas suggest that our Universe may be part of a grander structure known as a “multiverse,” and possibly quite rare in terms of having complexity and life.

Alex Filippenko, an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, is a world-renowned expert on some of the most dramatic fields in astronomy, including exploding stars, black holes, active galaxies, and cosmology. He is the recipient of numerous prizes for his scientific research, and he was the only person to have been a member of both teams that revealed the Nobel-worthy accelerating expansion of the Universe. Voted the “Best Professor” on the Berkeley campus a record nine times, he has produced five astronomy video courses with The Great Courses, coauthored an award-winning astronomy textbook, and appeared in about 100 TV documentaries. In 2004, he received the Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization.

Saturday, May 3, 2014 13th Annual AstroDay Festival, from 10:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m., at the Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo, Hawaii. For a list of presenters and activities go to http://www.mkaoc.org/programming/astroday
Friday, April 25, 2014

Maikalani Community Lecture: "Looking into the Hearts of the Solar System," Dr. Stuart Jefferies, 6:30 p.m. at the Maikalani building in Pukalani, Maui. Free. Also streamed live online and on Second Life. Flier

The four largest objects in our solar system are the Sun, Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus. In addition to size, they share another common trait: they harbor deep secrets about their internal structure and dynamics. Dr. Jefferies will describe some new ground-and-space-based projects that are underway at IfA-Maui to uncover these secrets using the sound and gravity waves generated by these four celestial spheres, and techniques developed for terrestrial seismology.

Monday, April 14, 2014 Lunar Eclipse Viewing, beginning 7:30 p.m., at Kapi‘olani Park (Soccer Field #5 on Paki Avenue near the corner of Monsarrat Avenue, with free parking in lots accessible from Monsarrat and on the streets) and also behind the Kahuku Public Library. IfA will have telescopes and binoculars to give members of the public the opportunity to see the eclipsed Moon and other celestial sights. Though the eclipse will start at 6:53 p.m., it will not be visible until 7:58 p.m., and the most interesting part, when the Moon will be very dark and possibly blood red, will take place from 9:06 p.m. to 10:24 p.m. You may hear media reports that say the eclipse is on April 15, but in Hawai‘i it is on April 14, so don’t miss it by being a day late.
Friday, April 11, 2014

Maikalani Community Lecture: "Mid Century Life on Mars," Doug Turnbull, 6:30 p.m. at the Maikalani building in Pukalani, Maui. Free. Flier Enjoy a video of the talk posted online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcUFGloC2CU&feature=youtu.be

The talk will be based on Doug Turnbull's Space.com Op Ed article that had over 40,000 readers and became the subject of great debate, with more than 230 specialist comments on LinkedIn groups like 'NASA,' 'National Space Society,' and 'Science, Technology & Innovation Policy.' His discussion will present a variety of real efforts currently underway designed to reach Mars, prepare astronauts for living on Mars, and speculate upon the challenges that will be faced by Mars astronauts. Throughout the talk he will explore--both fictionally through his characters and factually with completed and current atmospheric, radiation, and geologic studies--the possibility of humans living on Mars by the mid-twenty-first century.

Sunday, April 6, 2014 Mānoa Open House, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the IfA, 2680 Woodlawn Drive in Mānoa. Family event with activities for all ages. Free.
Friday, March 28, 2014

Maikalani Community Lecture: "Gold Rush in Space," Dr. Mark Willman, 6:30 p.m. at the Maikalani building in Pukalani, Maui. Free. Also streamed live online and on Second Life. Flier

The space age started in 1957, and commercial exploitation of Earth's orbital space is now well advanced. However, business has just begun to target space beyond Earth's orbit. Last year, three companies formed to mine asteroids for minerals. Whether these ventures come up empty or produce a huge bonanza depends on how much valuable ore is accessible.

March 6–14, 2014

Journey through the Universe in Hilo, Hawai‘i

Hilo is currently one of 10 communities around the nation that are designated Journey through the Universe sites. The Journey program brings together the local students and teachers with astronomers and engineers who not only share their passion and knowledge for science and technology but also inspire local students to aim high in their education and future careers.

Sunday, March 9, 2014 at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, Hilo, 9 a.m.–4 p.m., ‘Imiloa's 8th Annual KTA Family Free Day with Journey through the Universe (Flier)

On Thursday, March 12, there will be a free lecture, "What is the Role of a Hollywood Science Advisor," by Dr. Kevin Grazier, science advisor for the recent film Gravity, at 7:00 p.m. in the UH Hilo Science & Technology Building, Room 108. Flier

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Frontiers of Astronomy Community Event, "Beyond Earth: Strategies for Long-Term Human Survival," with Dr. Roberto H. Méndez (IfA), 7:30 p.m., UH Mānoa Art Building Auditorium (room 132). Free Admission (Campus Parking $6) Flier

Streamed live online at https://connect.arc.nasa.gov/uhifa

Earth is not a safe place. Geological and paleontological evidence indicates that life on Earth has been punctuated by several mass extinctions caused by hazards both local (ice ages, volcanoes) and external (comet or asteroid hits). To optimize our chances of long-term survival (millions of years), we must colonize the solar system and then spread across the Galaxy. This talk will describe a plausible strategy that does not depend on finding Earth-like planets around other stars.

Thursday, February 27, 2014 Dr. Jim Bell will give a free public talk about unlocking the mysteries of Mars, 7 p.m. at UH Hilo Science & Technology Building, room 108.
Friday, February 21, 2014

Maikalani Community Lecture: "Journey to Ancient Star Clusters," Guy Jette, 6:30 p.m. at the Maikalani building in Pukalani, Maui. Free. Also streamed live online and on Second Life. Flier

Globular clusters are incredible stellar relics from our Milky Way's formation, offering insights into the early history of our galaxy. This talk will provide a fascinating look at these densely packed star groups—what they are, where they are, where they come from, and how they might relate to dark matter and black holes. We will use the Hertzstrung-Russell diagram to gain understanding about how the ages of these star systems are determined, and we will discuss where and when you can find them in the Hawaiian night sky. We will journey to the center of one of these clusters, and ponder what the skies might look like within these densely packed clusters. And we will contemplate if life is possible in these primordial stellar arenas.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 Larry Denneau, the chief software engineer for the ATLAS (Asteroid Terrestrial Last-Alert System) project will give the next talk in the Hawaii Space Lecture Series, "ATLAS:  Saving the World from Asteroid Impacts" at 7:30 p.m. inthe Pacific Regional Planetary Data Center int the Pacific Ocean Science and Technology (POST) Building, room 544, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Free.
Saturday, January 25, 2014

2014 Astronaut Ellison Onizuka Science Day, 8:00 a.m. - 3:15 p.m. at the University of Hawai‘i Hilo. Free.

A day of science and space exploration! Online registration is open to students in grades 4-12, and parents, and teachers of any grade level. This is the 14th anniversary of the Astronaut Onizuka Science Day and the 29th anniversary of Ellison Onizuka's first flight into space aboard the space shuttle Discovery, STS 51-C, which launched on January 24, 1985.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Maikalani Community Lecture: "Telescopes: Big and Small," Dr. Alan Tokunaga, 6:30 p.m. at the Maikalani building in Pukalani, Maui. Free. Also streamed live online and on Second Life. Flier

While new large telescopes garner much of the press coverage, mid-size telescopes (less than about 4 meters in diameter) continue to be major contributors to astronomical research. Dr. Alan Tokunaga, who grew up on Maui, is the director of the 3.0-meter NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) on Mauna Kea that is operated for NASA by the University of Hawai‘i, and is dedicated to planetary science and mission support. He will highlight the research done with the IRTF and will also review the increase of telescope aperture over the past 400 years, including telescopes as large as 40 meters in diameter that are now being planned.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Talk: "Mathematical Conversation Starters," Prof. John de Pillis (University of California, Riverside), 7 p.m., UH Hilo Science & Technology Building, room 108. Sponsored by the UH Hilo Department of Physics and Astronomy. Flier

The talk will be general, drawing material from his book, 777 Mathematical Conversation Starters that contains jokes, anecdotes, and mathematical facts and lore. There will be lots of on-the-spot cartoons.

November 27, 2013 At 5 p.m.: IfA's Andrew Howard and Erik Petigura will be on Bytemarks Cafe on HPR2 to discuss exoplanets.
Friday, November 22, 2013

Maikalani Community Lecture: "What Makes the Sun Shine: An Introduction to Solar Physics," Dr. J.D. Armstrong, 6:30 p.m. at the Maikalani building in Pukalani, Maui. Free. Also streamed live online and on Second Life. Flier

The Sun is the dominant driver of Earth's climate. Almost all the energy we use here on Earth comes from the Sun. We will follow the travels of a photon from where it is generated in the core of the Sun until it reaches Earth. Along the way we will visit many of the interesting tourist attractions.

November 7, 2013

Dr. Richard Griffiths will be presenting his talk: "The Greatest Telescope not on Earth; Latest Discoveries from the Hubble Space Telescope" at 7 p.m. at UH Hilo's Science and Technology Building, Room 108. Free. If you have any questions, please email John Coney at jconey@hawaii.edu. Poster

"Join us on a journey to learn about one of the most famous telescopes ever used, the Hubble Space telescope. A talk for all ages, you will learn about the trials and tribulations of this space telescope, as well as some of amazing discoveries it has made."

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Frontiers of Astronomy Community Event, "Monsters in the Dark: Supermassive Black Holes and Their Destructive Habits," with Dr. Nicholas McConnell, 7:30 p.m., UH Mānoa Art Building Auditorium (room 132). Free Admission (Campus Parking $6). Streamed live online at https://connect.arc.nasa.gov/uhifa and archived at http://connect.arc.nasa.gov/p9p5itgr5ju/

Supermassive black holes are among the strangest and most powerful objects in the Universe. During short but violent growth spurts, they can profoundly alter the galaxies in which they reside. But which black hole horror stories are myths, and which are true? This talk will describe how astronomers hunt for black holes, and the messy aftermath when they gobble and feast.

Nicholas McConnell is the Beatrice Watson Parrent Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Hawai‘i Institute for Astronomy. His research focuses on stars and black holes in the Universe’s largest galaxies. Using telescopes on Mauna Kea, he has measured some of the largest black holes ever discovered.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Maikalani Community Lecture: "A Thousand Worlds," Dr. Marcelo Emilio, 6:30 p.m. at the Maikalani building in Pukalani, Maui. Free. Also streamed live online and on Second Life. Flier

At this time, scientists have confirmed the existence of 992 exoplanets in 755 planetary systems. There is now what scientists are calling a zoo of planets. Some planets are so different from our own that they resemble the fictional planet Star Wars Tatooine, which had two suns. In this talk Dr. Marcelo Emilio will explain the main detection methods used to find exoplanets and describe some characteristics of the almost thousand worlds discovered. The talk will also cover some of Dr. Emilio's own research hunting for exoplanets.

Friday, September 27, 2013

7th Annual IfA Maui Open House 6-8 p.m. at the Maikalani building in Pukalani, Maui. Free. Information: 808-573-9500 Flier

Stargazing through telescopes, lab tours, science demonstrations, talks.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Maikalani Community Lecture: "AMOS: The Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing Site," Dr. Skip Wiliams. IfA, 6:30 p.m. at the Maikalani building in Pukalani, Maui. Free. Also streamed live online and on Second Life. Flier

AMOS is the Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing Site. As a part of the Directed Energy Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), AMOS provides state-of-the-art capabilities in the areas of space surveillance, imaging systems, active illumination, and high performance computing. Come learn what AMOS is all about from Dr. Skip Williams, AMOS Chief Engineer.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sheraton Waikiki Explorers of the Universe public lecture: Ed Lu, "Astronomy Saves the World: Protecting the Planet from Asteroid Impacts," UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre, 7:30 p.m. Tickets free but required. Go to http://uhifa.ticketbud.com to obtain them. Do not call Kennedy Theatre. NOTE: Latecomers with tickets may not be seated, as people without tickets will be seated on a first-come, first-seat basis starting at 7:20 p.m. The talk will also be streamed live at https://connect.arc.nasa.gov/uhifa.

Ed Lu, a former NASA astronaut, and before that a postdoctoral fellow at the IfA, is now chairman and CEO of the B612 Foundation, which seeks to protect Planet Earth from asteroid impacts by finding such asteroids in time to deflect them. Dr. Lu says, "Asteroids hit the Earth more often than most people realize (as we saw on Feb. 15, 2013 over Russia). I will describe the risk of asteroid impacts, and the surprising fact that we can actually prevent these cosmic natural disasters. In fact, we already know how to deflect an asteroid to keep it from hitting the Earth. But this technology is useless unless we do one crucial step first. I will tell the story of our efforts to accomplish this necessary first step and to help literally save the world. "

Friday, July 5, 2013

Maikalani Community Lecture: "The Orbital Perspective," astronaut Ron Garan, 6:30 p.m. at the Maikalani building in Pukalani, Maui. Free. Also streamed live online and on Second Life. Flier

Astronaut Ron Garan will present a talk about life in space and the perspective of our planet from orbit, including a question and answer session. Ron is an astronaut, a highly decorated fighter pilot and test pilot, explorer, entrepreneur, and humanitarian who has traveled 71,075,867 miles in 2,842 orbits of our planet during more than 178 days in space and over 27 hours of EVA during four spacewalks.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Maikalani Community Lecture: "Beautiful Atmospheric Sights," Dr. Alex Filippenko (UC Berkeley), 6:30 p.m. at the Maikalani building in Pukalani, Maui. Free. Also streamed live online and on Second Life. Flier

Learn how the interplay of light with the atmosphere can produce rainbows, solar and lunar halos, the elusive green flash, sun dogs, colorful sunrises and sunsets, and other beautiful effects.

Thursday, May 9, 2013 Viewing of the partial solar eclipse outside the entrance to the Honolulu Zoo, 2:30-5:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 4, 2012

AstroDay, a celebration of astronomy and Hawaiian culture, Prince Kūhiō Plaza, Hilo, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Sheraton Waikiki Explorers of the Universe public lecture: Jill Tarter, SETI Institute, “Are We Alone: Current Efforts to Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence,” UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre, 7:30 p.m. Tickets free but required: https://uhifa.ticketbud.com/arewealone -- Flier -- Press Release

Does intelligent life exist beyond Earth? If so, how might we find it? Using the tools of astronomers, SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, is systematically looking for evidence of technologies produced by distant, alien civilizations. Find out what we've learned and what's next.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Maikalani Community Lecture: "Cosmic Snowballs," Dr. Karen Meech, IfA, 6:30 p.m. at the Maikalani building in Pukalani, Maui. Free. Also streamed live online and on Second Life. Flier

Once feared as omens of cosmic and earthly catastrophe, comets are now used to explore the birth processes of our solar system. In the past 300 years we have only had a dozen spectacularly bright comets; comet ISON coming close to the Sun in November, may be another. Come join us to see how comets may have played a role in making Earth suitable for life, and how you can view one of these ethereal celestial bodies this fall.

Sunday, April 14, 2013 Mānoa Open House, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the IfA, 2680 Woodlawn Drive in Mānoa. Family event with activities for all ages. Free.
Thursday, April 4, 2013

Join us for FAMELAB!
7-9 p.m. Reception follows.
Coral Ballroom 4, Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, 2005 Kalia Road
Free and open to the public (but probably a charge for parking). Flier

THINK AMERICAN IDOL...BUT FOR SCIENTISTS! Think Goodall, Sagan, and American Idol for the next generation of scientists. Ten regional finalists face expert judges, each spinning three minutes into a magical evening of science storytelling. And while the judges deliberate, NOAA Fisheries Lead Scientist for the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program, Charles Littnan, will explain how National Geographic's Crittercam technology reveals a closer look on the seal's daily lives and how this helps to protect them. Come cheer on these brave souls and journey with them to the cutting edge of exploring Earth and beyond!