Mauna Kea Again, As Promised


To all of those Mauna Kea fans out there, here are a few more photos...better late than never. Now that Jan is staying put for a short time, at least, he'll take the time to expose you to some of his travels.

Mauna Kea as seen from Hilo, the large town of the east coast of Hawaii

If you really squint at the left-hand peak, you'll see some tiny white dots -- the observatories. Keep in mind, the water you're seeing is the ocean, and well be going up 4,205 meters (13,796 ft) to greet them -- that's right, four kilometers up. That's above 40% of the Earth's atmosphere.

On the road up Mauna Kea, as we head into a distinctly Martian landscape

Another little-known fact is that Mauna Kea is actually by far the tallest mountain in the world, if you measure from its base to its peak. It rises 9,750 meters (32,000 ft) from the ocean floor.

At the top of Mauna Kea, this time without telescopes

If not for the blue, it would be Mars! To see the The Gemini Northern and Canada-France-Hawaii Telescopes in an earlier blog posting, click here.

Inside the University of Hawaii 2.2-meter telescope

For those telescope die-hards out there (you know who you are!!!), I was lucky enough to get an inside shot of the University of Hawaii 2.2-meter telescope, while it was being maintained. This was the first large telescope built on the mountain, which began observing in 1970.

And, in a few posts, we'll reveal the twin Keck Observatories, the world's largest optical and infrared telescopes.
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November 29, 2006 4:56 AM

Nice pictures. Now here are some links to a different perspective on observatories. The UH 2.2 m is in the group off to the left. I think it is the second big dome from the fork in the road. The Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope is at the end of that road. Keck is the pair of domes near top center.    



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