‘Imiloa Presents ‘Perspectives on the Future of Mauna Kea’

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‘Imiloa Astronomy Center will host its next Mauna Kea Skies program on Friday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. This month’s program, “Perspectives on the Future of Mauna Kea,” will feature Canada-France-Hawai’i Telescope Executive Director Dr. Doug Simons.

Dr. Simons’ presentation will explore the many facets of Mauna Kea, where earth meets sky in the Hawaiian archipelago. He will include cultural and religious importance as well as the discoveries made through observations from the observatories on Mauna Kea. These topics present themselves following the contention surrounding last year’s Thirty Meter Telescope ground breaking ceremony and the plans for future observatory construction and deconstruction, in addition to a new master lease that is being considered for the Mauna Kea summit.

“Can a lasting and widely accepted vision for the future of Mauna Kea emerge from these disparate views?” It’s a difficult question posed by Dr. Simons, as he notes, “the answer isn’t etched in the sky or an echo from the past, but is ultimately found within ourselves.”

A graduate from the California Institute of Technology, Dr. Simons received his B.S. in astronomy in 1985. He later went on to receive his Ph.D. in astronomy at the University of Hawai’i in 1990.


After receiving his doctorate, Dr. Simons worked as a staff astronomer at the Canada-France-Hawai’i telescope for four years. He joined Gemini Observatory in May 1994 as its Systems Scientist, then managed Gemini’s instrument development program for five years before becoming Gemini’s Director from 2006-2011.

Currently, Dr. Simons serves as Executive Director at CFHT, a position held since 2012. Infrared instrumentation and studies of the Galactic center, low mass stars, and star formation regions are among his areas of interest.

The first 50 people in the planetarium line for the evening will be given a 2015 Hawaiian Starlight Wall Calendar provided by the CFHT.


Cam Wipper, ‘Imiloa planetarium staff member, will host the Mauna Kea Skies program, providing observational highlights of the current night sky over Hawai’i.

Mauna Kea Skies planetarium presentations are held on the third Friday of every month.

Cost for the presentation is $8 for individual, dual, kupuna and family members; $6 for patron members; and free for silver, gold, and corporate members. Non-member rate is $10.


Tickets can be pre-purchased at the ‘Imiloa front desk or by phone at 969-9703.

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