Institute for Astronomy

University of Hawaiʻi

Latest News & Updates

UH astronomers help uncover array of strange exoplanet worlds

An international scientific team, with major contributions by astronomers at the University of Hawaiʻi Institute for Astronomy (IfA), has announced a new catalog of 120 confirmed and six new candidate exoplanets. They were discovered using NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet...

UH astronomer leads effort to unlock sun secrets during eclipse

Award-winning astronomer Shadia Habbal from the University of Hawaiʻi Institute for Astronomy (IfA) is gearing up to lead a world-class team of researchers at three North America locations to conduct in-depth observations during this rare event.

Star ripped apart by black hole in rare discovery

IfA astronomers have uncovered the closest recorded occurrence of a star being torn apart by a supermassive black hole.

Maunakea telescope captures extreme stellar eruption

The discovery of a powerful eruption on a Sun-like star more than 400 light years away has been unveiled in research co-authored by a University of Hawaiʻi astronomer.

IfA Astronomer Karen Meech Named AAS Fellow

IfA astronomer Karen Meech has been named a fellow of the American Astronomical Society in recognition of her ground-breaking research on solar and extrasolar comets, the distribution of water in the solar system, organization of large international observing teams,...

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.

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