Look Through the Eyes of Mauna Kea

101 Things to Do (Big Island) - - TOURING -

The largest as­tro­nom­i­cal ob­ser­va­tory in the world is lo­cated at the 13,796-foot sum­mit of Mauna Kea. Here, in­ter­na­tional sci­en­tists work with a so­phis­ti­cated ar­ray of tele­scopes to gather data about the vast ce­les­tial uni­verse.

The moun­tain cur­rently houses 13 work­ing tele­scopes, and plans have been an­nounced to build an­other, slated to be the largest on Earth. The new $1.2 bil­lion tele­scope will be built by a con­sor­tium of Cal­i­for­nia and Cana­dian uni­ver­si­ties and will be ca­pa­ble of track­ing stars and gal­ax­ies some 13 bil­lion light years away.

Mauna Kea means “white moun­tain,” so named for the snow that cov­ers its slopes. It is the high­est is­land moun­tain on Earth, ris­ing 32,000 feet from its base on the ocean floor.

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