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Antarctica Astronomy Highlight of Next ‘Mauna Kea Skies’

June 10, 2015, 10:51 AM HST
* Updated September 8, 6:24 PM
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‘Imiloa Astronomy Center has its next Mauna Kea Skies program scheduled for Friday, June 19 at 7 p.m.

This month’s program will feature Dr. Walter Gear, who will present “Astronomy in Antarctica.”

As the coldest, driest, windiest continent on Earth, Antarctica is unhabitable for humans and most animals. Despite these conditions, Antarctica provides some of the best viewpoints for certain astronomical observations.

During the presentation, Dr. Gear will review the geography and properties of Antarctica, and then will dig into explaining some of the world-leading astronomical results that have been obtained in Antarctica as he recalls his own experiences in reaching and spending time at the South Pole.

As a professor at Cardiff University in Wales, Dr. Gear is spending time at the East Asian Observatory in Hilo, which recently took over the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope from the UK.

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For over 30 years, Dr. Gear has been traveling to the Big Island to conduct work atop Mauna Kea. For two years in the 1990’s, he even lived in Hilo as he led commissioning and operation of the SCUBA camera on the JCMT.

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Astronomical instrumentation, the Cosmic Microwave Background, and star formation in galaxies are the primary focuses of Dr. Gear’s research.

Emily Peavy will host the Mauna Kea Skies program. She will provide observational highlights of the current night sky over Hawai’i. Included in the highlights are prominent constellations and stars one can see during this time of year.

Cost of the event is $8 for individuals, dual, kupuna, and family members; $6 for patron members; and free for silver, gold, and corporate members. The cost for non-members is $10.

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

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