Institute for Astronomy

University of Hawaiʻi

Latest News & Updates

Aspiring astronomer from Hawaiʻi Island heads to world’s largest HS science fair

The Maunakea Scholars program is sending its first representative from Hawaiʻi to the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). Ciana-lei Bence, who is also the first Maunakea Scholar from the Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi Island campus, is mentored by...

Southwest Airlines donates flight support, $10K to IfA

The IfA has received $10,000 from Southwest Airlines to support education and astronomy in Hawaiʻi. The donation was made as part of Southwest’s unveiling of Imua One, the airline’s Hawaiʻi-themed aircraft, on April 28. They also donated 45 vouchers to fly between...

Blending of astronomy, art represented in student-designed IfA mural

A student-designed mural blending astronomy and tropical flowers now spans the street-facing wall inside the University of Hawaiʻi Institute for Astronomy (IfA) courtyard. The artist, Cyan Garma, a student in the Department of Art and Art History, collaborated with...

Best spectrum ever obtained of planetary-mass object outside our solar system

Researchers observing with NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope have pinpointed silicate cloud features in a distant planet’s atmosphere. The atmosphere is constantly rising, mixing, and moving during its 22-hour day, bringing hotter material up and pushing colder...

Largest catalog of exploding stars now available

The largest data release of relatively nearby supernovae (colossal explosions of stars) , containing three years of data from the University of Hawaiʻi Institute for Astronomy’s (IfA) Pan-STARRS telescope atop Haleakalā on Maui, is publicly available via the Young...

National hall of fame inducts UH astronomy alumna

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Institute for Astronomy (IfA) alumna Heidi B. Hammel earned a spot into the prestigious ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) Foundation Alumni Hall of Fame.

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