Take a photographic journey

  • Photo by JASON CHU A panorama facing south from the slopes of Maunakea with the Milky Way rising above the Big Island. Halema‘uma‘u Crater is the glow in the center left, while on the far left is the glow from the lights of Hilo. In the foreground center is Halepohaku, where astronomers stay during the day. Mauna Loa rises above the clouds near the center in the distance, while the glow of lights from Kailua-Kona is visible on the far right.

  • A selfie taken Jason Chu while he waits for skies to clear at Halema‘uma‘u Crater for a shot of the Milky Way.

Hawaii’s unique location on Earth offers the best view of the heavens from the ground.

As a Hawaii-based astronomer, Jason Chu will share his personal story in capturing and photographing the incredibly beautiful night sky on and around the Hawaiian Islands during this week’s Maunakea Skies astronomy talk series presentation at 7 p.m. today at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo.

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Since many of Chu’s photos are intimately tied to the Maunakea observatories, he also will delve into the technical side of operating world-class telescopes and how they continually push the boundaries on humankind’s knowledge of the universe.

Having captured more than 70,000 photos — the bulk of which are time lapses — Chu garnered a net estimate of 550 hours of footage, just on Maunakea alone. He has photographed astro-landscapes for about nine years, all of them exclusively in Hawaii.

Chu is a graduate of the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy, where he received his doctoral degree studying luminous infrared galaxies both near and far. Born and raised in Southern California, he attended the University of California at Berkeley, earning his bachelor’s degree in physics and astrophysics. He currently is a science fellow at Gemini North Observatory based in Hilo.

General admission tickets are $10 for non-members, $8 for members (member level discounts apply). Pre-purchase tickets are available at ‘Imiloa’s front desk or by calling 932-8901.

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Sharing Hawaii’s legacy of exploration, ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center is a world-class center for informal science education located on the University of Hawaii at Hilo campus. Its centerpiece is a 12,000-square-foot exhibit hall, showcasing science and Hawaiian culture as parallel journeys of human exploration guided by the light of the stars.

‘Imiloa is located at 600 ‘Imiloa Place in Hilo, off Komohana and Nowelo streets in the UH-Hilo Science and Technology Park. For more information, visit www.ImiloaHawaii.org or call 932-8901.

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