Institute for Astronomy

University of Hawaiʻi

Latest News & Updates

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...

IfA Mānoa Open House April 23!

The 2023 IfA Mānoa Open House will be April 23rd, 11am-4pm! Free admission and free parking Event partners and activities: Portable planetarium with Bishop Museum UH Bookstore book and activity sales Hawaiʻi Lego Users Group (HILUG) display and Lego® building contest...

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.

First observational evidence linking black holes to dark energy

Searching through existing data spanning 9 billion years, a team of researchers led by scientists at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa has uncovered the first evidence of "cosmological coupling" –a newly predicted phenomenon in Einstein's theory of gravity, possible only...

Astronomers reveal new map of dark matter, mass in universe

IfA Astronomer Eric Baxter co-authored new research that traces the mass distribution in the universe in three dimensions.

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