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Laser-wielding robot probes exoplanet systems

Robo-AO laser

An international team, including Dr. Christoph Baranec of the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Institute for Astronomy, is using the world’s first robotic laser adaptive optics system—Robo-AO— to explore thousands of exoplanet systems (planets around other stars) at resolutions approaching those of the Hubble Space Telescope. The results, which shed light on the formation of exotic exoplanet systems and confirm ... Read More »

[VIDEO] Ocean expedition maps Loihi’s deepest reaches

R/V Falkor

The Lōʻihi Seamount is an active underwater volcano just over a half-mile below the ocean’s surface, 21 miles southeast of the island of Hawaiʻi. Now there is a greater understanding of the youngest volcano in the Hawaiian island chain, and the role submerged volcanoes play in Earth’s history, after a scientific expedition in the summer of 2014 led by researchers ... Read More »

[VIDEO] Mock Mars mission tests crew cohesion

simulated space walk

They emerged from their habitat one after the other—and stood as a crew one last time. The five crew members felt the sun and breeze on their faces for the first time in four months. And they indulged in all the fresh food they could eat. The crew members spent 120 days in this dome-shaped habitat on Mauna Loa on ... Read More »

UH receives major contract for Inouye Solar Telescope instrument

Sun storm

The National Science Foundation and the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) have announced the award of a major contract to the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy to build the Cryogenic Near Infrared Spectropolarimeter (CryoNIRSP) for the new solar telescope, which is now under construction on Haleakala. This complex $5 million instrument will allow astronomers to measure the solar ... Read More »

Navy expands investment at first grid-connected wave energy test site in the U.S.

Wave energy testing device

Work at the Wave Energy Test Site (WETS) located off Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kāneʻohe has received an infusion of $9 million from the U.S. Navy.  The funds, from the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC), are directed to the Applied Research Laboratory at the University of Hawai‘i (ARL/UH), working with UH Mānoa’s Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI), to support ... Read More »

Astronomer Dr. R. Brent Tully wins Viktor Ambartsumian International Prize

Galaxies in the local universe

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa astronomer Dr. R. Brent Tully is a co-winner of the 2014 Viktor Ambartsumian International Prize. Established in 2009 by the president of Armenia in commemoration of the great Armenian astrophysicist, it has been awarded every two years since 2010 to those who have made an important contribution in astronomy/astrophysics and related sciences. The Special Astrophysical Observatory ... Read More »

Retrofits for the next big quake in Hawaii

In this video by media outlet Big Island Video News, UHM professor Donald Thomas outlines the very real risk to Hawaii from earthquakes. Many people may be surprised to learn that our state’s earthquake risk is as much as two times higher than areas of comparable size in California. In fact, the state has experienced 24 earthquakes greater than 6.0 ... Read More »

Culture and family influence on smoking in Filipina girls

girl smoking

Smoking rates for youth in the U.S. have been declining, but the trend does not hold true for some Asian American ethnicities.  Recent results from Hawai‘i’s Youth Tobacco Survey indicate that 20.1% of Filipina high school girls smoke, compared to only 5.6% of Japanese and 5.3% of Chinese girls.  In fact, Filipinas in Hawai‘i are picking up their first cigarettes ... Read More »

Uncovering a hidden shark heiau in Pelekane Bay

researcher in boat

Undergraduate researcher Stephen Matadobra helps trace a Big Island cultural heritage site lost below sediment     That whitetip kept coming back every day. The small reef shark circling Pelekane Bay caught Stephen Matadobra’s eye even before the UH Mānoa undergraduate had heard about the legend. Matadobra, a marine biology major, was taking a field archaeology course on the Big ... Read More »

Ocean’s most abundant organisms have clear daily cycles

Planktonic microbes

Imagine the open ocean as a microbial megacity, teeming with life too small to be seen. In every drop of water, hundreds of types of bacteria can be found.  Now scientists have discovered that communities of these ocean microbes have their own daily cycles—not unlike the residents of a bustling city who tend to wake up, commute, work, and eat ... Read More »

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