Institute for Astronomy

University of Hawaiʻi

Latest News & Updates

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.

UH astronomers map distances to 56,000 galaxies

How old is our universe, and what is its size? A team of researchers led by IfA astronomers Brent Tully and Ehsan Kourkchi has assembled the largest-ever compilation of high-precision galaxy distances, called Cosmicflows-4.

IfA Plays Important Role in NASA DART Mission

NASA is preparing to crash a spacecraft the size of a school bus into an asteroid to assess if a deliberate impact can deflect objects on a collision course with Earth. The University of Hawaiʻi Institute for Astronomy (IfA) is playing an important role in the space...

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