Governor Ige Meets with PUEO Leaders

Governor Ige Meets with PUEO Leaders

Governor Ige met briefly with leaders of PUEO to explain their role in the community and the types of educational and cultural opportunities each member has been providing and how they would like to see programs expanded in the future.  This includes programs that are not just astronomy related.  Keahi Warfield, president of PUEO, expressed how important it was to have a range of scientific fields participating in the educational process.  His desire is to offer programs spanning educational fields from the ocean to the mountaintops. It’s very important to have options for kids so they can pursue the activities they find interesting.  Perhaps they’re more interested in hunting and Wildlife and Game Management might be what they prefer to study.  We need more educational fields like Fisheries, Geology, Biology, as well as Astronomy, Math and Physics.  These are the types of programs we want to build for the next generations. Governor Ige listened intently as each member discussed their background and their vision of how to move the people of Hawaii forward, away from homelessness, drugs and poverty through creating educational opportunities.  In addition they stressed that longterm plans are needed to create new industries that would help prevent the “Brain Drain” of Hawaii’s youth where they leave for better education and jobs. The meeting was opened up to the astronomy community where multiple students and teachers spoke of the unique educational opportunities that led them to become interest in scientific fields.  They also discussed how they see the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) as a key part of increasing Hawaii’s role in leading science and...
UH Astronomers Examine Ice Trapped on Pluto’s Ceres

UH Astronomers Examine Ice Trapped on Pluto’s Ceres

[from HPR] Astronomers with the University of Hawai‘i are examining possible ice pockets on the dwarf planet Ceres which orbits Pluto. Pictures taken from NASA’s Dawn mission show frozen water may be trapped in craters on the planet’s poles–which sit in dark areas that don’t receive sunlight.  Researchers say Ceres may have just enough gravity to hold the water on the surface.  If temperatures in the crater stay below minus 243 degrees Fahrenheit the area becomes a “Cold Trap”, holding ice for billions of years. Scientists have previously discovered ice hiding in similar pockets on Mercury and Earth’s moon.  Norbert Schorghofer is an associate professor with UH’s Institute for Astronomy. Schorghofer says his team will continue to run stereo imaging tests on the photos to see if water actually exists on the surface of Ceres....
HI-STAR program for Hawaiʻi high school students prepares future science leaders

HI-STAR program for Hawaiʻi high school students prepares future science leaders

From UH News For a decade, a University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Institute for Astronomy’s summer program has attracted middle school and high school students from across the state. It’s called Hawaiʻi Student/Teacher Astronomy Research or HI STAR. “This program introduces students from across the state of Hawaiʻi to the basic practices of science,” said Geoff Mathews, UH Mānoa astronomy instructor. “Science is about exploring, going out and discovering new things, adding to humanity’s understanding of the universe.” Over the past few years, HI STAR alumni have been awarded more than $400,000 in scholarships and awards at science fairs. The program, which recently marked its 10th year, is unique to the extent in which students design and direct their research projects. Pahoa High School student James Iaukea said, “We got to learn about star clusters and galaxies and basic things like that and now we’re moving into more field-based studies, like I’m working on my exoplanets right now.” UH Mānoa student mentor Marielle Dela Cruz, will be the first student to graduate from from the campus’ nascent astrophysics program in 2017. ”My (students’) project is globular clusters. They have the oldest stars in the universe,” she said. According to organizers, HI STAR alumni are not only college and research ready, they are also becoming future leaders in the science, engineering and technology fields that are so important to Hawaiʻi and the nation....
Second educational trip to to Mauna Kea!

Second educational trip to to Mauna Kea!

Keahi led our second educational trip up to Mauna Kea for PUEO kids was yesterday! Mahalo to Guenther Hasinger, Astronomer and UH Institute for Astronomy Director who helped guide the group visit to the top and NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility, W. M. Keck Observatory, and the 2.2m UH Telescope. Guenther also gave a presentation about astronomy, careers and history of telescopes at Hale Pohaku. Educational opportunities like these are priceless. Everyone had a lot of fun too while learning Maunakea’s role in leading the world’s scientific discoveries and how they can play a critical part in the future!...
CFHT has discovered a new dwarf planet orbiting in the disk of small icy worlds beyond Neptune.

CFHT has discovered a new dwarf planet orbiting in the disk of small icy worlds beyond Neptune.

About IMAGE: Rendering of the orbit of RR245 (orange line). Objects as bright or brighter than RR245 are labeled. The Minor Planet Center describes the object as the 18th largest in the Kuiper Belt. Credit: Alex Parker, OSSOS [source] An international team of astronomers including researchers from the University of British Columbia has discovered a new dwarf planet orbiting in the disk of small icy worlds beyond Neptune. The new object is about 700 km in diameter — roughly one-and-a-half times the size of Vancouver Island — and has one of the largest orbits for a dwarf planet. Designated 2015 RR245 by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center, it was found using the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on Maunakea, Hawaii, as part of the ongoing Outer Solar System Origins Survey (OSSOS). “Finding a new dwarf planet beyond Neptune sheds light on the early phases of planet formation,” said Brett Gladman, the Canada Research Chair in planetary astronomy at UBC. “Since most of these icy worlds are incredibly small and faint, it’s exciting to find a bright one that is easier to study, and which is on an interesting orbit.” RR245 was first spotted in February 2016 by astronomer JJ Kavelaars of the National Research Council of Canada. The OSSOS project uses powerful computers to hunt the images, and Kavelaars was presented with a bright object moving at such a slow rate that it was clearly at least twice as far from Earth Neptune and 120 times further from the Sun than Earth. The exact size of RR245 is not yet exactly known, as its surface properties need further measurement. “It’s...