Mauna Kea Skies: 25 Years with the Hubble

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‘Imiloa Astronomy Center will hold its next Mauna Kea Skies program on Friday, March 20 at 7 p.m.

Dr. Richard Griffiths from the University of Hawai’i at Hilo’s Department of Physics and Astronomy will be the featured presenter on this month’s program topic, “25 Years of Science with the Hubble Space Telescope.”

NASA will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope next month. The telescope has brought astronomy into the forefront as it has captured the public’s attention and influenced a generation of scientists and engineers.

During the talk, Dr. Griffiths will discuss some of the achievements that have been made by astronomers through the use of the Hubble. The achievements range from observing objects in the local universe to the most distant infant galaxies yet observed. He will also talk about ways in which the Hubble has been used to perform seminal observation of all classes of astronomical objects, from studies in our own solar system and exploratory observations of extrasolar planets to the study of stellar populations in nearby galaxies and supernovae in the distant universe.


A physics graduate of Imperial College of Science and Technology in London and the University of Leicester, Dr. Griffiths has worked in the United States since 1976. His beginnings date back to the x-ray astrophysics group at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. During his time there, he worked on x-ray satellite data and developed the first charge-coupled devices for x-ray imaging and spectroscopy.

In 1983, Dr. Griffiths took a position at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, where he worked on the wind field and planetary cameras on the Hubble. He later held a faculty position at Johns Hopkins University. He took up a tenured physics professorship at Carnegie Mellon University in 1996 and became Emeritus Professor there upon retirement from CMU in 2013.

When on leave at CMU from 2008 to 2013, Dr. Griffiths worked as a visiting scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington D.C. While there, he was Program Scientist for a variety of strategic space missions, including the Hubble Space Telescope.


Dr. Griffiths is currently an Affiliate Full Professor in the Physics and Astronomy department at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo. He teaches astrophysics and continues his research work using z-ray telescopes in space and the Hubble Space Telescope, together with Keck and other group-based optical observatories. He also has more than 300 publications in refereed scientist journals.

Cam Wipper, an ‘Imiloa Planetarium staff member, will host the program and provide observational highlights of the night sky over Hawai’i.

Tickets costs $8 for individual, dual, kupuna, and family members, $6 for patron members, and are free for silver, gold, and corporate members. Non-member tickets cost $10.


You can purchase tickets ahead of time at the ‘Imiloa front desk or by calling 969-9703.

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