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Günther Hasinger

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From the Director

Dear Friends of the Institute for Astronomy,

I was so pleased to see a large turnout at the Frontiers of Astronomy Community Lecture that I gave in November. I hope that many of you will also attend our next presentation, "The City Dark," a feature-length documentary film about light pollution and the disappearing night sky. The film will have its Hawai‘i premier on January 4 at 7 p.m. in the UH Mānoa Art Building Auditorium. The filmmaker, Ian Cheney, and our own resident expert on light pollution, astronomer Richard Wainscoat, will participate in a discussion after the screening of the 84-minute film. Admission will be free.

Cheney grew up in rural Maine, received bachelor's and master's degrees from Yale, and then moved to New York City, where the light pollution is extreme. In this film, he asks, "Do we need the dark?" And, "What will it be like for a generation of kids to grow up without a glimpse of the Universe above?" The film features astronomy in Hawai‘i, stunning astrophotography, and a diverse group of scientists (including IfA's Jeff Kuhn), philosophers, historians, and lighting designers. It premiered in competition at the 2011 South by Southwest Film Festival, where it won the Jury Prize for Best Score/Music.

Unfortunately, light pollution affects those of us living in Honolulu. If you go out on a moonless, cloud-free night in Honolulu and look up, chances are you will be able to see only about 20 stars. If you live in the suburbs, you may be able to see about 200. Only those lucky enough to live far from the city lights, such as in the rural areas of Hawai‘i Island, are able to see the 2,000 or more stars visible to the naked eye.

So please join us on January 4 for the film and the discussion, which will include possible solutions to the problem of light pollution.

I wish all of you a good holiday season and a happy new year.

Günther Hasinger


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Annual IfA Open House on Sunday, April 29

Join us for the IfA Mānoa Open House, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Mānoa.

Activities, talks, displays, and demonstrations for all ages. Free admission and parking.



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Upcoming Events

Wednesday, January 4, "The City Dark," a feature documentary about light pollution and the disappearing night sky, 7:00 p.m., UH Mānoa Art Building Auditorium (Room 132).

More Events>>