East Hawaii News

‘Imiloa Features Three New Exhibits as Part of Donation

February 26, 2016, 4:08 PM HST
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Three new exhibits were unveiled to ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center corporate and gold members late last month during a private receptions.

The exhibits are the fruit of support from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and Subaru Telescope.

A new 3-D visualization space provides the opportunity to view astronomical data as if witnessing the unfolding of the universe.

NAOJ donated the original 4D2U in 2006 when ‘Imiloa first opened, however, new technology upgrades have made it possible for ‘Imiloa to offer “flyout” experiences. The system is the first of its kind outside of Japan.

In addition, ‘Imiloa’s WorldWide Telescope exhibit is another visualization environment that gives visitors the ability to step into a virtual telescope and navigate through images downloaded from telescopes on Mauna Kea and other places in the world.

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‘Imiloa’s third new exhibit introduces the Panoptic Astronomical Networked Optical observatory for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Product, known and PANOPTES. The exhibit is a citizen science effort that is launched from Hilo in order to enable astronomy enthusiasts to identify “candidate exoplanets” for large professional telescopes to follow up on.

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PANOPTES will establish a network of robotic wide field imaging units that will be built and operated by citizen scientists using inexpensive digital cameras.  One of these camera units has been donated and is currently on display in the ‘Imiloa Exhibit Hall.

The 2015 contributions from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and Subaru Telescope, including these three exhibits, totaled nearly $80,000 worth of technology, ranging from new computers and projectors to projector screens, iPads, 3-D glasses, and equipment hardware.

While the new exhibits are on public display for all ‘Imiloa visitors to experience, other pieces of the donated equipment will be powering ‘Imiloa’s work behind the scenes.  These donations include a new Insta-On system that fully automates turning on and off the Exhibit Hall with a single switch, video monitors providing programming updates to diners in Sky Garden Restaurant, and a state-of-the-art ceiling-mounted projector and 248 foot diagonal projection screen that brings video and presentations to life in Moanahōkū Hall.

Subaru Outreach Director Dr. Yuko Kakazu navigating the WorldWide Telescope. 'Imiloa Astronomy Center image.

Subaru Outreach Director Dr. Yuko Kakazu navigating the WorldWide Telescope. ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center image.

 Subaru Director Dr. Nobuo Arimoto. 'Imiloa Astronomy Center image.

Subaru Director Dr. Nobuo Arimoto. ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center image.

Subaru Scientists explaining Project PANOPTES. 'Imiloa Astronomy Center image.

Subaru Scientists explaining Project PANOPTES. ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center image.

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