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From the Director

Dear Friends of the Institute for Astronomy,

This year, 2007, has been an exciting one, with many highlights. One of them was the Massive Stars as Cosmic Engines conference held December 10-14 at the Grand Hyatt on Kauai. This conference, designated as International Astronomical Union (IAU) Symposium 250, attracted about 200 researchers from 21 countries, including four IfA faculty members and two graduate students. As the host institution, the IfA took care of most of the logistics for the conference. This was the third IAU symposium hosted by the Institute for Astronomy in Hawaii since 2002.

The conference covered all aspects of massive stars, which are stars with a mass of at least 15-20 times that of our Sun. The conference talks began at 8:30 a.m. every day, and ended after 6:00 p.m., except for Wednesday when we had the afternoon at leisure. A total of about 45 talks were presented, and if you came to a special session on Sunday, December 9, you had the opportunity to listen to about 15 more. IfA astronomer Fabio Bresolin and I had the honor of giving invited talks. In addition to the talks, there were over 125 poster papers, which enable conference attendees to present their research when there is not time for everyone to give a talk.

It is hard to convey the intellectual excitement generated when so many researchers gather in such a beautiful setting, but if you go to the conference Web site and look at the pictures (, you may be able to see what I mean. 

May you have a happy and healthy 2008.

Rolf-Peter Kudritzki
Director, Institute for Astronomy



Saturday, January 26, 8 a.m.–3 p.m., Onizuka Science Day, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Campus Plaza. Free online registration is open to students in grades 4-12, and parents, and teachers of any grade level.

February 1–8, Journey through the Universe. Teacher workshops and classroom visits throughout the week. Wednesday, February 6, 4–9 p.m., Family Science Night, ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i. Free, but tickets required.



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Upcoming Events

Friday, January 11, “How to Use the Telescope You Received for Christmas,” Rob Ratkowski, member of Haleakala Amateur Astronomers, 6:30–-7:30 p.m., Maikalani on Maui. Free. See the map at

More Events>>