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Rolf-Peter Kudritzki

Institute for Astronomy

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From the Director

Dear Friends of Hawaii Astronomy,

There are people who make a difference. Some of them seek out the media spotlight and then strive to remain there forever. Others make their important and visionary contributions, and then continue with their normal lives in a most modest manner.

Mitsuo Akiyama was one of the latter. His contribution to the state of Hawaii was fundamental. His visionary initiative brought astronomy to Hawaii and made it an engine of the state's economy and a pillar of scientific and educational excellence. It is not an exaggeration to say that, without Mitsuo Akiyama, the worldwide center of gravity for astronomical research would not have shifted to Hawaii, and the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii, one of the leading research institutions in the world, would not exist.

In this newsletter, you will find the story of how he served as the catalyst for the development of Mauna Kea Observatories. When Mr. Akiyama died on May 28, astronomy in Hawaii and the Institute for Astronomy lost a key supporter and a unique visionary, but his exciting vision will live on in the scientific discoveries that continue to be made on Mauna Kea. On behalf of all the faculty, students, and staff of the Institute, our condolences go to Mrs. Akiyama, their children, Alvin and Ruth, and their grandchildren.

Rolf-Peter Kudritzki
Institute for Astronomy

Join the Friends of Hawaii Astronomy

You are cordially invited to join the Friends of Hawaii Astronomy.

As a friend, you will hear from IfA and visiting scientists about their research, receive bulletins of new discoveries via e-mail, and attend star parties and other activities.

For further information, please contact Joan Yanagihara at (808) 956 6712 or or go to



Getting the Best Images
Comet or Asteroid?
In Memoriam: Mitsuo Akiyama, 1920-2004

Upcoming Events
Frontiers of Astronomy Lecture, "First Light: The Birth of Stars and Galaxies," by IfA astronomer Lennox L. Cowie, Wednesday, September 22, 7 p.m., Manoa IfA Auditorium. May also be viewable via Internet video link at IfA Hilo Auditorium and a location on Maui. For more information, see

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