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 stargazing.

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 year.

"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 program.

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 40 to 55 Fahrenheit (4.4 to 12.8 Centigrade), and in the winter they range from 26 to 50 Fahrenheit (-3.3 to 10 Centigrade). http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/info/vis/index.html  Info: Mauna Kea: 961-2180; Hilo: 974-4205

Telescopes/Facilities on Mauna Kea: 
University of Hawaii 2.2-meter Telescope:
University of Hawaii 0.6-meter Telescope:
NASA Infrared Telescope Facility: 
Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope:
United Kingdom Infra-Red Telescope
WM Keck Observatory (I & II):
Subaru Telescope:
Gemini Northern Telescope:
Caltech Sub-millimeter Observatory:
James Clerk Maxwell Telescope:
Sub-Millimeter Array
Very Long Baseline Array

For more visitor information on Mauna Kea, go to: http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/info/vis/index.html

      *** Be Cautious .. Be Patient ... Be Kind ***

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