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Rolf-Peter Kudritzki

Institute for Astronomy

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From the Director

Dear Friends of Hawaii Astronomy,

From the earliest times to the present day, people from every culture have embarked upon the endeavor of exploration–to find the resources necessary for survival, to transport themselves and their families to more fertile lands, to learn what lies beyond the next hill, or simply to learn about and better understand the world in which they lived.

A substantial part of this exploration was connected with astronomy. For all of humankind's existence, people everywhere have been awed by the beauty of the heavens. They observed the night skies in wonder and soon learned to correlate the movements of the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars with seasonal changes. Thus, astronomy came to be known as the "mother of all sciences"–the first science. It could be said that the modern conveniences and technological advances we enjoy today are all somehow rooted in astronomical science.

In Hawaii, the saga of exploration continues. Modern astronomy, the exploration of other worlds, is best done here, at Mauna Kea and Haleakala. Proudly and respectfully, modern astronomers continue in the ancient tradition of the Polynesian voyagers–some of the most courageous and skillful explorers the world has ever known–who discovered these tiny islands in the center of the Pacific. Astronomers, too, seek knowledge about new "islands." Our canoes are telescopes, and the islands we detect are stars in the Milky Way and distant galaxies in the endless Universe. Like the discoveries of earlier explorers, this knowledge will expand our understanding of our world in fundamental ways. We are grateful to follow in this proud tradition.



The Onizuka Center for International Astronomy Visitor Information Station at Hale Pohaku (9,300-foot level of Mauna Kea) is open weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., and 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
For more information, see



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