Why is Mauna Kea so special?

Why is Mauna Kea so special?

Mauna Kea is unique as an astronomical observing site. The atmosphere above the mountain is extremely dry — which is important in measuring infrared and submillimeter radiation from celestial sources – and cloud-free, so that the proportion of clear nights is among the highest in the world.

What does Mauna Kea mean in Hawaiian?

white mountain
“Mauna kea” means “white mountain,” but there are those who say it is short for “Mauna o Wakea,” the mountain of the Hawaiian deity Wākea.

What was the thirty meter telescope named after?

To Native Hawaiians, Mauna Kea is a sacred place. But to astronomers, it is one of the best places on Earth to observe space. Mauna Kea was chosen in 2009 for the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope, named for the diameter of its mirror, because of its elevation and clear skies.

Why should TMT be built on Mauna Kea?

Located above approximately 40 percent of Earth’s atmosphere, the site at Maunakea has a climate that is particularly stable, dry, and cold; all of which are important characteristics for capturing the sharpest images and producing the best science.

Can you do Mauna Kea on your own?

Yes, but not with any car and only during daylight hours. On the road from the visitor center to the summit only 4WD vehicles are allowed, and the summit is off-limits from half and hour after sunset. Read more about driving to the summit here.

Is it disrespectful to visit Mauna Kea?

Respect this Sacred Place Remember, Mauna Kea is a Wahi Pana (sacred place). When visiting, be respectful.

What is the tallest point in Hawaii?

Mauna Kea
Big Island Highest Point. The snowcapped peaks of Mauna Kea standing 13,796 feet high are at odds with the tropical and beach climate at its base. The tallest volcano on the island and from base to top the tallest mountain in the world, Mauna Kea is a wonder.

What is the TMT project in Hawaii?

The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) is an under-construction extremely large telescope (ELT) that has become controversial due to its planned location on Mauna Kea, on the island of Hawaii. The TMT would become the largest visible-light telescope on Mauna Kea.

Will TMT ever be built?

Gordon Squires, vice president of external affairs for the TMT International Observatory, announced on Hawaii News Now Sunrise that construction will probably not happen until sometime after spring or summer of 2021.

What is a kupuna?

Kūpuna means grandparent, ancestor, and/or honored elder. In the Hawaiian culture, kūpuna were highly respected and seen as an important link as keepers of ancestral knowledge.

What’s happening with TMT?

What’s happening: Construction of the TMT has been stalled since about 2015, when protests on the mountain blocked equipment. The protests also forced those pushing to build the telescope to reevaluate their plans and work more closely with the Native Hawaiian community to find a potential path forward for the project.

Does Harvard have a telescope on Mauna Kea?

(The Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics operates the Submillimeter Array (SMA) on Mauna Kea, but is involved in the construction of the Giant Magellan Telescope in Chile’s Atacama desert rather than this one on Mauna Kea.)

What is Mauna Kea’s contribution to Hawaii?

Astronomy on Mauna Kea has been a boon to the University of Hawaii and brought income to the State. The nearby town of Hilo takes pains to honor its neighbor and has low-intensity street lights to keep ambient light to a minimum.

Is Mauna Kea an argument about understanding the universe or Stone Age?

As astronomer Tom Kerr wrote back in 2011, “It seems to me that it’s an argument about returning to the stone age versus understanding our universe and it’ll be interesting to see who wins in the end.” Mauna Kea is the highest peak in the Hawaiian islands.

How do you get to the summit of Mauna Kea?

The Mauna Kea Access Road reaches the summit after numerous switchbacks that cross through fields of cinder cones (note the gray line above the propeller) on the S flank. This view is approximately centered on the cinder cone Pu`u Kole, which is one of the features remaining from the Holocene Laupahoehoe eruption.