Institute for Astronomy

University of Hawaiʻi

2023-2024 Faculty Search!

Latest News & Updates

IfA-discovered asteroid named for UH astronomy founder

A near-Earth asteroid now officially bears the name of John Jefferies, founder and first Director of the IfA.

Hawaiʻi astronomers part of $11M grant to design software for new space telescope

A University of Hawaiʻi astronomer is co-leading a team that was recently awarded $11 million to develop critical tools for NASA’s trailblazing Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope.

Vast bubble of galaxies discovered, given Hawaiian name

A University of Hawaiʻi-led discovery of an immense bubble 820 million light years from Earth is believed to be a fossil-like remnant of the birth of the universe.

Awards for Six IfA Graduate Students

Six IfA graduate students received local and national recognition for their research and mentorship.

‘Potentially hazardous’ asteroid identified through new algorithm

The roughly 600-foot-long asteroid, designated 2022 SF289, was discovered during a test drive of the algorithm, using the ATLAS survey in Hawaiʻi.

Sun ‘umbrella’ tethered to asteroid might help mitigate climate change

IfA astronomer István Szapudi has proposed a novel approach—a solar shield to reduce the amount of sunlight hitting Earth, combined with a tethered, captured asteroid as a counterweight.

What we do


Our Astronomers  study everything from the Sun to the structure of the Universe, using the best observing sites in the world


We create cutting-edge instrumentation and technology, and innovative surveys to study the ever-changing night sky


Our world-class degree programs include a PhD in Astronomy, an undergraduate BA in Astronomy, and a BS in Astrophysics


Our extensive public outreach program brings astronomy to our community, and our news stories highlight the latest discoveries

Our Vision

To be the premier institution for astronomy research and education, locally, nationally, and internationally, that is respectful of the local culture.

Our Mission

The University of Hawai‘i is located in the most diverse community and environment in the world. We are a globally recognized center of learning and research, with a kuleana to serve the people and places of Hawaiʻi and our neighbors in the Pacific.  The IfA’s mission is to advance scientific understanding of the origin and nature of the universe, by conducting high-impact research, developing new technologies to observe the cosmos, defending the planet from potentially hazardous asteroids, and sharing knowledge of astronomy through education and outreach, in particular engaging with the native Hawaiian community.

Our Values

  • Valuing science as a way to illuminate our place in the universe
  • Maintaining the integrity of the scientific process
  • Revering the natural environment, including the dark skies
  • Respecting Native Hawaiian practices and philosophies
  • Affirming the international character of academic research
Aerial view of telescopes on Maunakea

Astronomy in Hawaii

Institute for Astronomy