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IfA Director Rolf-Peter Kudritzki with Ken Archer of Ironwood Observatories at the IfA Manoa Open House. Photo by Wei-Hao Wang

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From the Director

Dear Friends of Hawaii Astronomy,

This spring, the IfA participated in two extremely successful outreach events, AstroDay in Hilo and the IfA Open House in Manoa. Each was attended by thousands of people. The success of these events shows the popularity of astronomy in Hawaii.

Both AstroDay and the IfA Open House are family events with something for everybody, but with a focus on children. Astronomers are just big kids who have never stopped asking questions, and we want to share some of the answers and our enthusiasm for our work. We especially want to let the young people know that science is exciting and fun. It takes so little effort to plant the seeds that will grow into the scientists of tomorrow.

The scene in our crowded courtyard was heartwarming. People waited patiently in long lines for a turn at the many telescopes pointed at the Sun or Venus. Hundreds of children launched their self-made rockets, made comets, and landed raw eggs safely on the surface of "Mars." Inside, there was a never-ending stream of Ask-an-Astronomer questions about time warps, black holes, life in the Universe, planets around other stars, and distant galaxies.

In this sea of people, IfA staff members, students, postdocs, and faculty were almost overwhelmed, but all of them were smiling. After spending many hours preparing for the Open House, we got what we wanted, to be part of the community we are living in. On days like that one, my job is really fun.

Rolf-Peter Kudritzki
Director, Institute for Astronomy

Next Hilo AstroTalk

Friday, July 21, "Journey through the Universe with the Hubble," Inge Heyer, Joint Astronomy Centre, 7 p.m., UH Hilo, University Classroom Building (UCB), room 100



IfA Eclipse Expedition
New Class of Comets May Be Source of Earth's Water
`Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii

Upcoming Events

Friday, July 28, Frontiers of Astronomy Community Lecture, "Searching for Life in the Universe," a panel discussion by Dr. Seth Shostak, SETI Institute, and Dr. Chris McKay, NASA Ames Research Center, 7:30-9:00 p.m., UH Manoa Art Building Auditorium (Room 132). Sponsored by the IfA and the NASA Astrobiology Institute.

More Events>>