‘Ohana Stargazing Event Inspires Keiki to Reach For The Stars

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Photos by Keith Uehara Photography

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then looking through a telescope into the depths of space and the twinkling stars staring back at you while imagining all the possibilities is priceless.

Keiki and their families had the opportunity to do just that during the first ‘Ohana Stargazing event Aug. 27 at Mo‘okini Heiau in Kohala. The event, meant to inspire children to reach for the stars, was hosted by ‘Ohana Kilo Hōkū, a Native Hawaiian nonprofit organization that supports astronomy and space programs in Hawai‘i.

‘Ohana Stargazing shares traditional and modern methods of Hawai‘i astronomy including storytelling and telescope viewing. The event at Mo‘okini Heiau featured guided tours through the heiau, Hawaiian star compass demonstrations, a question-and-answer session with a Native Hawaiian panel of astronomy and space science professionals, storytelling about Hawaiian sky lore and Mo‘okini Heiau, star tours including Polynesian Voyaging Starlines and international constellations, interactive space themed activities and telescope viewing.


Under a sea of stars, including Maui’s fish hook on the horizon and the great dark fish of the dusty Milky Way above, the event closed by honoring two individuals — ‘Ohana Kilo Hōkū founding director and ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center navigator in residence Kalepa Baybayan and Paul Coleman, the first Native Hawaiian astrophysics professor — who treasure Mo‘okini Heiau and continue to be guiding lights in perpetuating the practice of Hawai‘i astronomy.

The mission of ‘Ohana Kilo Hōkū is to cultivate and support children who have or hope to have a relationship with the study of the skies above. Through ‘Ohana Stargazing, the nonprofit hopes to engage families in fun events, where everyone can be inspired by Hawaiian and international star stories.

‘Ohana Kilo Hōkū seeks to inspire keiki, especially Native Hawaiian keiki, by bringing them Native Hawaiian role models who perpetuate the culture of celestial navigation and natural observation through contributions to the study of space, astronomy and the stars. For more information, click here.


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