Haleakala Observatory

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Haleakalā Observatory
Haleakala Observatory
Haleakalā Observatory with AEOS Telescope (left)
Organization University of Hawai'i
Location Haleakalā, Hawaii, U.S.
Coordinates 20°42′30″N 156°15′26″W / 20.7083°N 156.2571°W / 20.7083; -156.2571Coordinates: 20°42′30″N 156°15′26″W / 20.7083°N 156.2571°W / 20.7083; -156.2571
Altitude 3,052 meters (10,013 ft)
Established 1961 (1961)
Website www.ifa.hawaii.edu/haleakala/
Faulkes Telescope North 2.0 m reflector
Pan-STARRS PS1 1.8 m reflector
AEOS Telescope 3.7 m reflector
Advanced Technology Solar Telescope 4.0 m reflector
Commons page Related media on Wikimedia Commons

The Haleakalā Observatory on the island of Maui, also known as the Haleakalā High Altitude Observatory Site, is the location of Hawaii's first astronomical research observatory.[1] It is owned by the Institute for Astronomy of the University of Hawai'i, which operates some of the facilities on the site and leases portions to other organizations. Tenants include the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network (LCOGTN). At over 3,050 meters (10,010 ft) in altitude, the summit of Haleakalā is above one third of the Earth's atmosphere and has excellent astronomical seeing conditions.[2]


Mees Solar Observatory[edit]

The Mees Solar Observatory (MSO) is named after Kenneth Mees and dedicated in 1964.[1] It consists of one dome with multiple instruments sharing a common mount.[3]


The Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) is a planned array of telescopes plus a computing facility that will survey the sky on a continual basis, and provide accurate astrometry and photometry of detected objects. By detecting any differences from previous observations of the same areas of the sky, it is expected to discover a very large number of new asteroids, comets, variable stars and other celestial objects. Currently, the 1.8 m (71 in) PS1 prototype telescope is in operation and the PS2 is under construction.[4]

Faulkes Telescope North[edit]

The Faulkes Telescope North, part of the Faulkes Telescope Project, is a 2.0 m (79 in) reflecting telescope owned and operated by the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network. It provides remote access to a research-quality telescope primarily to students in the United Kingdom.[5]

TLRS-4 Laser Ranging System[edit]

The TLRS-4 Laser Ranging System is part of the International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS), which provides satellite laser ranging and lunar laser ranging data.[6] The TLRS-4 replaced an older facility in order to provide continuity of data. The old facility now houses telescopes of the Pan-STARRS project.[7]

Zodiacal Light Observatory[edit]

The Zodiacal Light Observatory currently consists of two instruments. The Scatter-free Observatory for Limb Active Regions and Coronae (SOLARC or SOLAR-C) telescope is a 0.5 m (20 in) off-axis reflecting coronagraph that is used to study the Sun's corona.[8] The Day-Night Seeing Monitor Telescope System (DNSM) makes telescope-independent observations of perturbations in the atmosphere above Haleakala.[9]

Maui Space Surveillance Complex[edit]

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) operates the Maui Space Surveillance Complex (MSSC), which is part of the Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing Site (AMOS). Located at the MSSC are the 3.67 m (144 in) Advanced Electro Optical System Telescope (AEOS),[10] the Maui Space Surveillance System (MSSS), and the Ground-based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance (GEODSS). The MSSS uses a number of optical assets, including a 1.6 m (63 in) telescope, two 1.2 m (47 in) telescopes on a common mount, a 0.8 m (31 in) beam director/tracker, and a 0.6 m (24 in) laser beam director.[11] The GEODSS uses two 1.0 m (39 in) telescopes and one 0.38 m (15 in) telescope.[12]

Future facilities[edit]

Former facilities[edit]

Non-astronomical facilities[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "IfA Maui History". University of Hawai‘i Institute for Astronomy. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  2. ^ Bradley, Eliza S.; Roberts, Jr.; Bradford, L. William; Skinner, Mark A.; Nahrstedt, David A.; Waterson, Mark F.; Kuhn, Jeff R. (January 2006). "Characterization of Meteorological and Seeing Conditions at Haleakala". Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 118 (839): 172. Bibcode:2006PASP..118..172B. doi:10.1086/497622. 
  3. ^ "Haleakala Observatories". University of Hawai‘i Institute for Astronomy. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  4. ^ "Project Status - Pan-Starrs - Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System". University of Hawai‘i Institute for Astronomy. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  5. ^ "About Us | Faulkes Telescope Project". Faulkes Telescope Project. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  6. ^ "About ILRS". International Laser Ranging Service. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  7. ^ "TLRS-4 Laser Ranging System". University of Hawai‘i Institute for Astronomy. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  8. ^ "Institute for Astronomy Solar-C". University of Hawai‘i Institute for Astronomy. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  9. ^ "Day - Night Seeing Monitor DNSM Telescope System". University of Hawai‘i Institute for Astronomy. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  10. ^ "Fact Sheets: AFOSR: AEOS at AMOS". Air Force Research Laboratory. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  11. ^ "Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing Site". Air Force Research Laboratory. Archived from the original on 2005-08-28. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  12. ^ a b c "Haleakalä High Altitude Observatory Site Long Range Development Plan" (PDF). University of Hawai‘i Institute for Astronomy. January 2005. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  13. ^ Joseph McMullin; Thomas Rimmele (2012-11-14). "NSO Announces Start of ATST Site Construction" (Press release). National Solar Observatory. 
  14. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions | ATST". National Solar Observatory. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g "Haleakalā High Altitude Observatory Site Management Plan" (PDF). University of Hawai‘i Institute for Astronomy. 2010-06-08. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  16. ^ Pyle, K. R. (1993). The Haleakala Cosmic Ray Neutron Monitor Station: Intercalibration with the Huancayo Station. 23rd International Cosmic Ray Conference. p. 609. Bibcode:1993ICRC....3..609P. 
  17. ^ Yoshii, Y.; Kobayashi, Y.; Minezaki, T. (May 2003). "The MAGNUM (Multicolor Active Galactic NUclei Monitoring) Project". Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society 35: 752. Bibcode:2003AAS...202.3803Y. 

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