Last updated: 15 July 2000
During my recent vacation on the Hawaiian Islands, I had the opportunity to visit a couple of observatory sites. Here are some photos of those visits.
My wife had arranged a special tour of the Mauna Kea Observatories, located at 13,796 feet elevation on top of the Mauna Kea volcano on the island of Hawaii.
We first stopped at the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy Visitor Information Center, at 9,300 feet elevation, to get acclimated to the high altitude.
Mostly we sat around watching videos of the observatories (that's my wife Laurraine on the left).
After spending about 1.5 hours there, we went to the summit of Mauna Kea. Unfortunately it was raining, so we did not get a great view from the top, but it was still thrilling to see the observatories up close.
We first visited the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility.
We then went to see the Keck I Observatory (that's me almost lost in the clouds).
Following our stay at the Summit, we went back down to the Visitor Center to await nightfall in the hopes that it would clear up. Several telescopes were set up, and we got to look at the Moon and Alpha Centauri through the telescopes.
A few days later, we were on the island of Maui and went to the summit of Haleakala volcano, which is at 10,023 feet elevation. From the visitor center at the summit, we could see Mauna Kea in the distance and the Haleakala Observatories.
Unfortunately, we did not spend the night on top of Haleakala. The Moon was nearing Full anyway.
Go back to the Observatory Visits page.