‘Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo

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“ ‘Imiloa is a place of life-long learning where the power of Hawai‘i’s cultural traditions, its legacy of exploration, and the wonders of astronomy come together to provide inspiration and hope for generations.”

The ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo is a remarkable museum for those that are interested in Astronomy, how the stars contributed to ancient Hawaiian life, the creation of the Hawaiian Islands, and our universe today. The mission at ‘Imiloa is to honor Mauna Kea by sharing Hawaiian culture and science, in purpose of inspiring exploration. This University of Hawai’i at Hilo science center is founded upon five main Hawaiian ideas: ‘Imiloa (exploration driven by wonder), Na’auao (authentic and creative education inspiring children), Ho’okipa (hospitality, respect and care), and Alulike (teamwork). Day tickets, family memberships, adult educational programs, keiki day camps, special events, and volunteer opportunities are all available at this Big Island museum.

At the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, guests can expect to see experience many different permanent and rotating exhibits. The Origins center is where visitors can learn more about the birth of the cosmos and the universe around us, and the Explorations center provides a host of educational displays including the story of how Hawaiians voyaged by canoe. When visiting the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, definitely plan to check out their Planetarium. It’s awesome, with 4-5 showings a day themed: Skies Above Hawai’i: Live Sky Program, Maunakea: Between Earth and Sky, Back To The Moon, Two Small Pieces of Glass, and Magic Tree House: Space Mission.

The Native Garden at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center is truly remarkable, a favorite for all interested in Hawaiian botany, native flora and fauna. Designed by renowned Honolulu landscape architect Randall Monaghan, the gardens are full of native Hawaiian varietals and species; all whose existence is threatened by over 5,000 invasive species that currently reside in Hawai’i. Here, over 50 native plant species live and thrive on the grounds, many of which are endangered and rare. The gardens have been planned by elevation groups such as Kahakai (seaside), Kula (plains), Wao Kanaka (human realm), and Wao Akua (Realm of the Gods). Landscape Tours are available at request.


Located in Hilo, the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center is open Tuesday-Sunday 9 a.m. -5 p.m., and closed on Mondays. For more information, please visit ‘Imiloa’s website.


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