Institute for Astronomy

University of Hawaiʻi

Latest News & Updates

UH astrophysics pioneer awarded national honor

The AAS has awarded UH Astronomer Karen Meech the Dannie Heineman Prize for her trailblazing contributions in astrophysics.

Akamai Internship Program Applications Open

The Akamai Summer Internship program, which offers college students an opportunity to gain paid summer work experience at an observatory, company or scientific/technical facility on Hawaiʻi Island or Maui and earn course credit from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo,...

Planet spiraling to its doom discovered by UH astronomers

For the first time, astronomers have spotted an exoplanet with a decaying orbit around a star that resembles a future version of our Sun.

UH telescope site used to help collect essential climate change data

New NOAA CO2 measuring station installed at UH88 telescope on Maunakea as backup for Maunaloa

Asteroid defense test success confirmed by Hawaiʻi telescopes

NASA’s successful planetary defense test that sent the 1,260-pound DART spacecraft colliding into an asteroid on September 26 demonstrated the significant role Hawaiʻi astronomers and telescopes have in protecting Earth from a potential catastrophic asteroid impact.

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