CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL ASTRONOMY
VISITOR INFORMATION STATION - MAUNA KEA
A free Visitor Information Station (VIS) Stargazing Program is held every
evening from 6 to 10 pm. The program begins with an astronomy video that is
followed by a discussion of astronomy and Mauna Kea, then outside for
Portable telescopes (16" Meade, 14" Celestron and 11" Celestron)
are used to view different colors of stars, star
clusters, double stars, white dwarfs, planetary nebulas, star-forming nebulas,
supernova remnants, supernovas,
planets, galaxies and our moon.
At 9,300 feet (2,800 meters) the skies above the Visitor Center are among the
clearest, driest and darkest on the
planet. The Visitor Center site is located above the elevation of most of the
major telescopes on Earth.
"The Universe Tonight" program is held the 1st Saturday of every
month. Each month a special speaker from a different Mauna Kea observatory
shares recent observations and discoveries. The presentation begins at 6 pm and
is followed by the regular stargazing program.
Members of the Astronomy Club at the University of Hawaii - Hilo put on
stargazing programs on certain 2nd Saturdays of each month during the school
"Malalo I Ka Lani Po" program is held the 3rd Saturday of every month.
Each month a special speaker from the community speaks on a cultural aspect of
Mauna Kea. The presentation begins at 6 pm and is followed by the stargazing
The access road to Mauna Kea begins at the 28-mile marker of the Saddle Road
(across from the hunter's check-in station) and leads north to the summit. The
VIS is on the access road, 6.2 miles from the Saddle Road - about a 1-hour drive
from Hilo, Waimea and Waikoloa, about 2-hours from Kailua-Kona.
Be sure that you have a full tank of fuel when driving to Mauna Kea. The steep
grade combined with the lower oxygen level makes internal combustion engines run
inefficiently. Fuel is not available on Mauna Kea or Saddle Road.
To help ward off the effects of the altitude, it is recommended that you bring
and drink lots of water.
Dress warmly -- evening temperatures in the summer range from 40º to 55º
Fahrenheit (4.4º to 12.8º Centigrade), and in the winter they range from 26º
to 50º Fahrenheit (-3.3º to 10º Centigrade). http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/info/vis/index.html
Info: Mauna Kea: 961-2180; Hilo: 974-4205
on Mauna Kea:
University of Hawaii 2.2-meter Telescope:
University of Hawaii 0.6-meter Telescope:
NASA Infrared Telescope Facility:
United Kingdom Infra-Red Telescope
WM Keck Observatory (I & II):
Gemini Northern Telescope:
Caltech Sub-millimeter Observatory:
James Clerk Maxwell Telescope:
Very Long Baseline Array
visitor information on Mauna Kea, go to: http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/info/vis/index.html
*** Be Cautious .. Be Patient ... Be Kind ***