Visit Outer Space

101 Things to Do (Big Island) - - HILO/HAMAKUA COAST -

The ‘Imiloa As­tron­omy Cen­ter is an ex­tra­or­di­nary fa­cil­ity where the vol­cano and its tele­scopes meet in­dige­nous Hawai­ian cul­ture and lan­guage to ar­tic­u­late the in­trigu­ing link be­tween the se­crets of the stars and the an­cient path of Hawai‘i’s na­tive cul­ture. The $28-mil­lion fa­cil­ity, lo­cated on the cam­pus of the Univer­sity of Hawai‘i at Hilo, houses a state-of-the-art plan­e­tar­ium com­plex and an ex­hi­bi­tion hall ded­i­cated to Mauna Kea. The 120-seat plan­e­tar­ium the­ater is con­structed with a dome and features cut­ting-edge 3D the­ater tech­nol­ogy. Plan­e­tar­ium vis­i­tors choose from a full sched­ule of shows, in­clud­ing its sig­na­ture at­trac­tion, Mau­nakea: Be­tween Earth and Sky, which ex­plores the con­nec­tions be­tween Hawai­ian cul­ture and as­tron­omy.

The ex­hi­bi­tion hall features more than 100 ex­hibits. The cen­ter­piece of the Voy­ages hall is the ‘Imiloa, a one-fifth model of a voy­ag­ing ca­noe.

The grounds of the cen­ter re­veal an amaz­ing ar­ray of na­tive Hawai­ian plants. Here, some 70 na­tive species— Hawai‘i’s largest na­tive plant land­scape—are on dis­play. The cen­ter’s airy café, the Sky Garden Restau­rant, pro­vides a sweep­ing view of Hilo Bay and break­fast any time of the day.

The ‘Imiloa As­tron­omy Cen­ter is open to the pub­lic ev­ery day ex­cept Mon­day.

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