Hilo, HI – AstroDay 2022, led by the University of Hawai‘i’s Institute for Astronomy (IfA), is dedicated to sharing the amazing science of astronomy and the incredible discoveries made by telescopes throughout the state of Hawaiʻi. The IfA brought together the Maunakea Observatories and various other organizations for a fun filled day engaging ʻohana in Kailua-Kona.
TMT outreach team Yuko Kakazu, Leinani Lozi, and Angelic Ebbers hosted hands-on activities related to the Moon in honor of the November 7 total lunar eclipse visible in Hawaiʻi. Keiki and their ‘ohana painted silver and red Moons on paper plates and enjoyed free mochi. In Japanese folklore, a mystical hare who inhabits the moon mashes ingredients for mochi, a traditional rice-flour cake. In Hawaiian moʻolelo (stories), Hina the goddess of the Moon pounds her kapa (a cloth made from the wauke plant) from her lunar home.
AstroDay has a two decade long history on Hawaiʻi Island making it a leading community outreach program for the observatories and several science-based and community organizations. Participants this year included:
UH Institute for Astronomy (O‘ahu, Hawai‘i Island, Maui), Canada-France-Hawai‘i Telescope, Gemini Observatory, TMT International Observatory, W.M. Keck Observatory, and Subaru Telescope, Las Cumbres Observatory and Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope. Hawai`i Community College’s Natural Sciences Dept. (Pālamanui Campus), The Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes, Hawaii Keiki Museum, Hawaii Science & Technology Museum, ʻImiloa Astronomy Center, Hawaii Electric Light, Int. Lunar Observatory Assn., National Weather service (NOAA) Mauna Loa, NASA Solar System Ambassadors and Project PANOPTES.