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Günther Hasinger

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From the Director

This has been a busy and successful year at the IfA. We hired a new tenure-track faculty member, Andrew Howard. A visiting committee of outside astronomers had a fruitful stay that produced a variety of recommendations to strengthen and improve all aspects of the IfA. We made significant progress on developing an astrophysics/astronomy undergraduate program, including the debut of a two-semester course, Foundations of Astrophysics, and had positive discussions about starting a School of Astronomy. Our fundraising activities are yielding positive results.

Plans to build three new telescopes here in Hawai‘i are coming to fruition. Construction of the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope and the Pan-STARRS PS2 telescope has begun on Haleakalā, and a hearing officer has recommended to the Department of Land and Natural Resources that the conservation district use permit required to build the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea be granted. At the same time, the PS1 mission has been extended to run together with that of PS2, which is now on sound financial footing.

Our research programs have continued to prosper, from the discovery of a potentially habitable planet around a relatively nearby star to mapping the brightest galaxies in the Universe. Our scientists wrote and published over 200 scholarly articles during 2012 and also continue to create new optical and infrared instruments and sensors that are used on some of the premier telescopes on Earth and in space.

Our public education and outreach activities have also continued to grow—we participated in nearly 200 events during 2012. Among these, the Venus transit outreach program reached about 20,000 people at our events around the state, we initiated a new K–12 teacher education workshop in Kona, and a workshop for Chinese middle school teachers was held in conjunction with the International Astronomical Union General Assembly in Beijing, China. Please join us for the next Frontiers of Astronomy Event, “Great Comets: What Makes Them So Great?” on January 31 and at our Mānoa Open House on April 14.

I wish you a happy and healthy new year!

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Sunday, April 14, Annual IfA Mānoa Open House, 11 a.m to 4 p.m., 2680 Woodlawn Drive.



New Census of Distant, Dusty Galaxies
ATST Construction Begins, Spurs New Solar Physics Courses
Mapping the Universe in 3-D
Wide Binary Stars: Long-Distance Stellar Relationships

Upcoming Events

Thursday, January 31, Frontiers of Astronomy Community Event, “Great Comets: What Makes Them So Great?” 7:30 p.m., UH Mānoa Art Building Auditorium (room 132). Free Admission (Campus Parking $6).

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