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Astronomy & Space

UH astronomers help local high school students compete for telescope time

Evan Sinukoff with Nevyn Tyau, Ashley Cobbs and Caitlyn Reid at Kapolei High School. Photo: Naidah Gamurot

Astronomers from the University of Hawaiʻi’s Institute for Astronomy are playing a key role in the first program in the world of its kind to provide observing time on a world-class telescope for Hawaiʻi’s aspiring young astronomers. Institute for Astronomy graduate students Kelly Blumenthal and Evan Sinukoff have been working with Kapolei High School and Waiākea High School students as ...

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Mystery of disappearing asteroids solved

Artist’s impression. An asteroid’s orbit is altered as it passes close to Jupiter, Earth or Venus, such that its new orbit takes it near the Sun. The intense heat from the Sun causes the asteroid’s surface to expand and fracture, and some of the material breaks off. As the surface material disintegrates, it creates dust and pebbles that spread out along the asteroid’s orbit with time. If the orbit of the dust and pebbles ever intersects Earth, it can create a meteor shower. Art by Karen Teramura.

Ever since it was realized that asteroid and comet impacts are a real and present danger to the survival of life on Earth, it was thought that most of those objects end their existence in a dramatic final plunge into the Sun. A new study published on Thursday in the journal Nature finds instead that most of those objects are destroyed in a ...

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Pan-STARRS chases source of LIGO gravity wave event

Pan-STARRS 1 Telescope

The email came in the evening of September 15. A potentially significant event had happened at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO, during their engineering run. A ripple in spacetime had occurred somewhere in the universe. But where? LIGO had not yet started their formal observing run, and with only two Gravity Wave detectors, one in Hanford, WA, and ...

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University of Hawaiʻi reaffirms support of TMT project

Artist’s rendering of the Thirty Meter Telescope

The University of Hawaiʻi’s response to recent media reports that the Thirty Meter Telescope is now exploring alternative sites as a “Plan B” if it can’t build in Hawaiʻi: The University of Hawaiʻi remains steadfast in our support for locating the Thirty Meter Telescope in Hawaiʻi. The project is a tremendous scientific and economic opportunity for Hawaiʻi Island and the ...

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The untold story of improvements in UH stewardship of Maunakea

The monitoring of archaeological sites is conducted annually according to the guidelines in the archaeological monitoring and burial treatment plans. Pictured here: A multiple upright shrine (kūahu) in the Maunakea Science Reserve.

This editorial by UH President David Lassner and UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney first ran in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on November 29, 2015. Current controversies unfortunately overshadow the remarkable advances made in the stewardship of Maunakea. Critics often cite the 1998 State Auditor report on UH management. The university never disputed these findings, but viewed the report as a wakeup ...

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UH confirms TMT project is the last telescope site on Maunakea

Artist’s rendering of the Thirty Meter Telescope

A letter from University of Hawaiʻi President David Lassner to Department of Land and Natural Resources Chair Suzanne Case confirms that the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project site is the last new area on the mountain where a telescope project will be contemplated or sought. Lassner’s letter to the Department of Land and Natural Resources (PDF) President Lassner’s letter to ...

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Main-belt asteroid shows evidence of March collision

Main-belt asteroid (493) Griseldis with temporary tail. (credit: D. Tholen, S. Sheppard, C. Trujillo)

The main-belt asteroid (493) Griseldis was probably hit by another object last March. So concluded a research group led by University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa astronomer David Tholen. The results were reported on November 12 at the annual meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society near Washington, DC. Observations taken with the 8-meter Subaru Telescope ...

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UH researchers shed new light on the origins of Earth’s water

Arial photograph of the most recent eruption at the Holuhraun lava field in Iceland. A proportion of the water released as vapor during this eruption is thought to be sourced directly from the Icelandic mantle plume. Dr. Hallis and her colleagues measured Icelandic and Baffin Island rocks where plume water was trapped inside the rock, rather than released into the atmosphere. Photo by Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson.

Water covers more than two-thirds of Earth’s surface, but its exact origins are still something of a mystery. Scientists have long been uncertain whether water was present at the formation of the planet, or if it arrived later, perhaps carried by comets and meteorites. Now researchers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, using advanced ion-microprobe instrumentation, have found that ...

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[VIDEO] More launches ahead for UH’s Hawaiʻi Space Flight Laboratory


The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Hawaiʻi Space Flight Laboratory (HSFL) is currently preparing for five space launches in the next two years with more opportunities on the horizon. “Hawaiʻi and the University of Hawaiʻi are now considered players in the aerospace industry,” said HSFL Director Luke Flynn. Hawaiʻi on the aerospace map HSFL had a key role in the first ...

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[VIDEO] Rocket launch from Hawaiʻi carrying UH payload experiences anomaly

The Super Strypi launch vehicle fastened to a rail launch system at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi. Credit: U.S. Air Force.

Blast off! Rocket carrying #HiakaSat and 12 #cubesats is up and away! #ORS4 #SuperStrypi #spacelaunch #rocketscience @UHManoaNews @HonoluluCC @KauaiCC A video posted by University of Hawaii System (@uhawaiinews) on Nov 3, 2015 at 7:45pm PST Editor’s note: The original story was updated to reflect launch vehicle anomaly The U.S. Navy along with the U.S. Air Force’s Operationally Responsive Space Office, ...

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