29 March 2023

AAS/S&T Tour: Hawaiʻi Skies and Sights

Diana Hannikainen Sky & Telescope

S&T Hawaii Tour photo

An enthusiastic bunch of intrepid stargazers and readers of Sky & Telescope (S&T) joined the magazine’s Observing Editor Diana Hannikainen on an astronomy-packed visit to the beautiful islands of Hawaiʻi and Maui. The group enjoyed private tours of the 4-meter Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (watch a short video) on the summit of Haleakalā (elevation around 10,000 feet) and the Submillimeter Array, a radio interferometer comprising eight 6-meter elements that was part of the Event Horizon Telescope network, atop Maunakea (elevation around 13,800 feet). Generous observers of two local clubs — the Haleakala Amateur Astronomers and the West Hawaiʻi Astronomy Club — provided sites and scopes for fun-filled evenings of stargazing (and came up with inspiring backup programs when observing conditions didn’t cooperate!). At Volcano National Park, a renowned local geologist guided the group to the edge of Kilauea’s caldera, through a lava tube, and onto lava fields. While at the Park, group members went for post-dinner walks some 20 minutes from the hotel armed with binoculars and cameras to take in and record the amazing sights of the night sky. A local cultural practitioner accompanied the visitors throughout and regaled them with informative stories on the history and culture of the Hawaiian people.

To learn about S&T’s upcoming tours, go to skyandtelescope.org/astronomy-travel. If you love traveling as much as you love astronomy, then don’t miss the chance to join us on the next astronomy tour!

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