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Günther Hasinger

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From the Director

JCMT transfer

The JCMT handover signing. Back row: Jun Yan, director, National Astronomical Observatories of China; IfA Director Günther Hasinger; Gary Davis, former director, Joint Astronomy Centre. Front row: Paul Ho, director general, East Asian Observatory; Matt Platz , assistant chancellor for academic affairs, UH; John Womersley, chief executive STFC. Credit: Hollyn Johnson/Gary Davis/STFC.

On March 1, the University of Hawai‘i assumed ownership of the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) located on Maunakea. It was formerly owned by the Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) of the United Kingdom. Simultaneously, the operation of JCMT was assumed by the East Asian Observatory (EAO), a consortium of astronomy agencies in China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, under a scientific cooperation agreement with UH. JCMT will continue to be operated from the Joint Astronomy Centre Building in Hilo by most of the same personnel. Dr. Paul Ho, former director of Taiwan's Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics and now director general of EAO, now heads the JCMT.

This new arrangement is similar to the one developed for the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT). UH assumed ownership of that telescope on October 31, 2014, and negotiated a scientific cooperation agreement with the University of Arizona and Lockheed Martin Space Technology Advanced Research and Development Laboratories to provide for UKIRT’s continued scientific operation. Though both UKIRT and JCMT have been very successful scientifically, STFC announced in 2012 that it no longer had the funds to support them.

UH will continue to receive a guaranteed share of the observing time on both telescopes. We at IfA are glad that we have been able to make arrangements to keep these valuable telescopes operating.

Please join us for the annual IfA Mānoa Open House on April 12.


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Hilo AstroDay is May 2

Hilo AstroDay, May 2, 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m., Prince Kūhiō Plaza. Free. An annual Hawai‘i Island event featuring displays and interactive demonstrations staffed by volunteers, astronomers, and technicians from the Maunakea Observatories and other astronomy organizations. AstroDay offers fun for the whole family with contests, giveaways, and entertainment.



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Upcoming Events

IfA Mānoa Open House, Sunday, April 12, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 2680 Woodlawn Drive in Mānoa. Family event with activities for all ages. Free.

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