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Current Events

Lāhainā Noon Challenge

This year PUEO is hosting the first annual #LāhaināNoonChallenge.  For this challenge, we want you all to film and document this tropics-only phenomena as it takes place in each of your locations! Post your videos or pictures on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and make sure to tag us and use the hashtag #LāhaināNoonChallenge. The goal of this challenge is to document this special day and better understand the seasonal nature of the Sun’s journey here in our island state Lāhainā noon marks the day when the Sun becomes our zenith star, so no shadows are cast when it reaches zenith (the point directly overhead).  Over the next few days/weeks: #getoutdoors and observe the shadows each day around noon and try to observe this phenomenon for yourself!  Latitude determines when youʻll experience lāhainā noon. Since the Sun is currently progressing north in its journey, the first location that will experience this event is #SouthPoint, Hawaiʻi Island on Friday, May 14th. One of the last places in the island chain to experience the first of the lāhainā noon pairs will be Lihuʻe, Kauaʻi on May 30th.  Then the cycle will reverse, and Lihuʻe, Kauaʻi will experience its second lāhainā noon on July 14th, and South Point, Hawaiʻi will experience the last lāhainā Noon event in the state on July 27th.  For a more detailed list of lāhainā noon locations and dates, check out this wonderful resource from Bishop Museum at https://bishopmuseum.org/lahaina-noon/ The chart below from the Bishop Museum gives the overhead sun dates and times for several locations in 2021: Līhuʻe, Kaua‘i, 22o NMay 30, 12:35 p.m.July 11, 12:43 p.m.Haleʻiwa, O‘ahu,... read more

PUEO Invited Speaker – Searching for Asteroids from Space

Dr. Joseph Masiero has worked to provide internships for our UH Hilo astronomy students.  Joe is keenly interested in helping our Hawaiʻi students with skills training and getting them placed into astronomy related careers. On Friday, he will be giving a talk about his research and NEOCam.   Just a little preview – he uses space-based observations to detect asteroids, but also works with ground-based observing campaigns to do follow-up characterization of these potentially dangerous, yet insightful objects... read more

Hōkūle‘a Celebration

PUEO was happy to celebrate Hōkūle‘a with everyone from Hilo. We met lots of new people and we found many keiki ready to pilot our underwater rover.

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News From The Mountain

Are you a student? Join the Akamai Workforce!

Attention Hawai’i college students: The deadline to apply for a summer internship with Akamai Workforce Initiative has been extended to Feb. 28! Undergrads studying a STEM subject are eligible for paid, hands-on work experience doing real science and engineering projects with local employers. Learn more and apply at: www.akamaihawaii.org... read more

Stellar student: Hilo native lands job with NASA lab before graduating college

PHOTO — Aaron Roth, left, of Hilo, a senior at Arizona State University where he’s majoring in computer science, is pictured with Jack Andersen and Andrew Hasegawa on Maunakea during a rover test drive as a PISCES intern. By STEPHANIE SALMONS Hawaii Tribune-Herald | Monday, October 29, 2018, 12:05 a.m. Aaron Roth is shooting for the stars. Literally. When the 2015 Waiakea High School graduate earns his diploma from Ariziona State University next spring, the computer science major already has a job lined up — with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. According to its website, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is the leading U.S. center for robotic exploration of the solar system. It has 19 spacecraft and 10 major instruments carrying out planetary, Earth science and space-based astronomy missions. Roth, who was raised in Hilo, said he has always liked computers, but Waiakea High’s robotics program was a “huge, contributing factor that got me interested in everything.” He did well in robotics and even took first place in an international competition. “Robotics was, like, behind my passion then PISCES got me really into space.” Roth interned for the Pacific International Space Center of Exploration Systems, a state-funded aerospace agency based in Hilo, during the summers of 2016 and 2017, where he worked on a stereoscopic camera system for the Helelani rover. With that work, Roth said he was able to help provide anaglyphs of the things the camera captured and disparity maps, which help better gauge the distance of an object. “Aaron interned with PISCES during two consecutive summers and completed some great work on our analog planetary rover,... read more

Hikianalia and Hokulea Arrived In Tahiti and Coming Home Soon!

The Hikianalia departed Hilo March 26th (shown in photo) with one of PUEO’s founders and Keaukaha Community leader Uncle Pat Kahawaiola’a blessing their departure.  Their goal was to meet up with Hōkūleʻa and bring them some materials for repairs before they had back to Hawaii. They arrived safely in Tahiti following the stars and waves to join up with Hōkūleʻa on their round the world trip to bring them some repair materials and accompany them on the final legs of the voyage back home.  After sailing about 100 miles from Papeete, Tahiti, the canoes arrived at Taputapuatea on the morning of April 25, 2017 following the historic protocol of entering via the sacred pass of Teava Moa.  You can follow Hikianalia’s activities here: http://www.hokulea.com/crew-blog-kalepa-baybayan-follow-wind/ and Hokulea’s here http://www.hokulea.com/blog/ The should be back in Hawaii in June! SHARE! Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Google... read more

Mars Simulation Ends after 1 Year on Mauna Loa

By TOM CALLIS Hawaii Tribune-Herald Six scientists will become the first to complete a yearlong Mars simulation in the United States when they exit a small dome Aug. 28 on Mauna Loa. For nearly 365 days, the crew has seen the outside world only through a small porthole or through the lens of their spacesuits, which they must wear to venture outside. At 8,200 feet above sea level, the landscape mimics Martian soil somewhat, with hardly any vegetation to be found. “They’re doing OK as far as we can tell,” said Kim Binsted, principal investigator for the Hawai‘i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation. The University of Hawaii runs the NASA-funded study. Three other simulations have been held in the dome, located in a former quarry, for four- and eight-month durations. Each scientist works on research projects during their stay and learns how to manage limited resources while avoiding personal conflicts in isolation. Any communication with the outside world is put on a 20-minute delay, the length of time it would take to relay messages to and from the red planet. Binsted said the only longer simulation held was a 520-day mission in Russia that mimicked a trip to Mars. HI-SEAS is more focused on what a crew will do once they get there. The crew will be provided fresh fruit and other food not available during the simulation after they leave the dome. “They are clamoring to get into the ocean,” Binsted said. “I think they will enjoy having a beer as well.” Binsted said HI-SEAS will host two more eight-month simulations, with the next one starting in January.... read more