Message from Lisa Wells:


This issue of Hoku focuses on recent discoveries. There are some interesting topics covered and nice demonstrations that help in understanding what in space is being studied. Enjoy!

We are grateful for your feedback and support of our venture. Feel free to send an email.


CFHT Community Outreach

Recent Past Events

November 8, 2014: CFHT and Keck Observatories sponsored the Solar System Walk from 10am - 2pm which started at the headquarters of Keck and ended at the headquarters of CFHT down the main street in Waimea. The first 200 students completing the walk received a free keiki ticket for the 'Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo. Fun and refreshments were enjoyed at the end of the walk also.

November 20, 2014: The Girls Exploring Math and Science (GEMS) workshop for 5th grade girls was held at the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay from 7:45am - 2 pm. This event is hosted by the American Association of University Women every year with help from local businesses, organizations(including CFHT), and individuals. Click on the site below to learn more. Put this on your calendar for next year and return to this site for information on registration.

Those registered checked in Had a quick welcome address CFHT had some spectroscopy demos With 2 staff members manning the table

Outside there were exhibits also One about the sun Here is an electronics demo


December 6, 2014: CFHT held its annual Star Party on the front lawn of our headquarters in Waimea starting right after the Christmas Parade down the main street. We had exhibits inside, Ask an Astronomer, and viewing of the remote observing room during nightime observations. We did not have great weather for viewing the night sky with telescopes. Still we had a great crowd and had a raffle for tickets to Imiloa Science Center in Hilo. The crowd enjoyed some coffee, hot chocolate, and cookies.

Visitors liked the refreshments The Keiki activities were a hit People stopped to Ask an Astronomer Keiki roasted marshmallows And stayed warm

More kids came We gave away old calendars People could see our Remote Observer at work People asked questions about observing and astronomy Even the staff members had a good time

January 24, 2015: The Ellison Onizuka Day was held on the campus of UH Hilo from 8am to 3:15pm. Students from grades 4-12 participated by watching demonstrations, attending talks, and checking out all the booths. Go to the website below to learn more and mark this in your calendar for next year.

Students and teachers got to check out booths between talks Optics demonstration using Jello Learning about light NASA Astronaut signing autographs

The booths Telescope viewing of the sun More sun viewing

Onizuka Day

February 7, 2015: The Hawaii District Science and Engineering Fair was held at the 'Imiloa Astronomy Center on the UH Hilo campus. CFHT sent staff members to be judges for this event. The students who win here go on to the State Science and Engineering Fair on Oahu for a chance to go to the National Fair on the mainland.

February 18, 2015: CFHT hosted students from the Waimea Country School for a visit to our downtown facilities and a talk by our Outreach coordinator, Mary Beth Laychak.

February 19, 2015: There was a career exposition in Hilo which was attented by our Outreach coordinator. This was held at the Konpa Hongwanji Sangha Hall.

February 20, 2015: The director of CFHT, Doug Simons, gave a talk at the 'Imiloa Astronomy center in Hilo at 7pm. It was well attended.

February 21, 2015: The West Hawaii Science Fair was held at the Gateway Conference Building in Kona for the participating schools. CFHT scientists participated as judges for this event.

March 1, 2015: Scientists from CFHT participated in the 9th Birthday Celebration of the 'Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo. Entry was free all day, and many observatories were representated at the event.

The CFHT Outreach Coordinator answered questions about the telescope Others had meteors Meteors look very different from earth rocks

March 12, 2015: This was the date for judging of the Mauna Kea Coin contest entries. Staff members from CFHT were involved in the judging. The winner will be announced at the 2015 AstroDay in Hilo (see below).

March 3-6, 2015: Scientists from CFHT participated in the Journey Through the Universe program in schools in Hilo and Waimea.

Upcoming Events

March 13, 2015: There will be a free astronomy talk at the Kahilu Theater in Waimea at 7pm. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will present, "America's Space Program: NASA's Roadmap to Tomorrow's Missions".

Kahilu Theatre Astronomy Talk

May 2, 2015: AstroDay will be held in Hilo, at the Prince Kuhio Mall from 10am-4pm. There will be many exhibits, entertainment on the main stage and hands on activities for the keiki. This being the International Year of Light, there will be many opportunities for learning more about light, and optics. Stay tuned to this site for more details as May approaches.

AstroDay Site

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Monster Black Holes

Here are several stories about newly found objects which at present defies our understanding of black holes in the center of galaxies.

Monster Black Hole

Giant Black Hole

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Giving Shape to a Black Hole's Intense Winds

This site contains an artists conception of how the winds coming off a black hole accreting material might appear.

Giving Shape to a Black Hole's Intense Winds

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Black Hole Simulations

Here are two sites that have great graphics and explain many things going on around a Black Hole. Check them out. The first one shows the regions of light that we can detect around a black hole. The second one shows how light from behind a black hole behaves as it passes a strong gravitational singularity. Can you find a few places where an Einstein ring is formed?

Black Hole Accretion Process

Interactive Black Hole Simulation

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Comet Survives Close Encounter

The previously unknown comet had a close pass by our sun and survived. The article tells a bit about the encounter but there is a link low in the article that shows the video of the close encounter and the other interesting things that were seen by the SOHO satellite.

Comet Survives Close Encounter

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Spacecraft Catch Solar Shockwave

Since James Van Allen discovered the radiation belts around the Earth, astronomers and Earth scientists have been studying them. Did you know that the Van Allen Probes were out there sending information back to us? Try doing a search to learn more about these spacecraft.

Solar Shockwave

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Upcoming Astronomical Events
  • Eclipses - There will be a total solar eclipse occuring on March 20th, 2015. Unfortunately, we will not be able to see it from Hawaii. Its path takes it from the middle of the Atlantc ocean, N over the Pole and down into Russia. If you just happen to be traveling to these places, you may have a chance to view this event. NEVER EVER look directly at the Sun. Use a pinhole projection. If you have access to a small telescope with a good narrow filter then you could either project that image or use an eyepiece to look directly at the sun. You could also use a projected image from a pair of binoculars.

    NASA Solar Eclipse site

    There will be a total lunar eclipse in the evening of April 4th but again it will only be visible to those who live in Brazil, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.

    NASA Lunar Eclipse site

  • Meteor Showers -
    • The Lyrid Meteor shower will peak at 3:21am on April 21st. Predictions are for 20 per hour and the Moon will not be around so this may be a nice event this year. Look toward the constellation Lyra before the sunrise for best viewing.
    • The Eta Aquarid meteor shower will be peaking on the afternoon of May 4th so look for this shower either the morning of the 4th or the 5th. The moon will be just past Full, so will unfortunately be bright in the morning sky. Predictions are for 60 per hour so may still be worth watching.
    All these meteor showers are best viewed from midnight to sunrise. Meteors should be visible for 1-3 days either side of the peak also. For more about watching meteor showers, check out the site for The American Meteor Society.
  • Planets -
    • Mars will be a degree from the Moon on the evening of March 21th just after sunset.
    • Venus will be 2.9 degrees from the Moon on the morning of March 22nd so look for them together that evening after sunset.
    • Saturn will be 2.5 degrees from the Moon on the morning of April 8th at 3:08am.
    • Venus will be 2.6 degrees from the Pleiades in the morning of April 11th so look for them before they set the evening of April 10/11th.
    • Mercury will be 1.7 degrees from the Pleiades at 3:30pm on April 30th so look for them close together after sunset.
    • Saturn will be 2.1 degrees from the Moon on the morning of the 5th of May. Look for them together before sunrise.
    • Saturn will be 2 degrees from the Moon on the morning of the June 1st so find them close together this evening shortly after sunset.
    • Look for Venus close to the Beehive cluster at 22:59 on June 12th.
    • Saturn will be 2.1 degrees from the Moon again on the evening of June 28th.
    • Look for Venus and Jupiter close together in the evening of June 30, just after sunset.
  • Comets - There are several challenging objects to find in the sky so check out updates at the Sky Hound site: Comet Chasing. You may need binoculars or a small telescope to see the faintest of these objects.
  • Equinox - The Vernal Equinox will occur on March 20th at 2:45 am HST.

All times listed above are HST unless otherwise indicated. The link below contains many calendars and includes a nice section on astronomical events. Check it out!


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We gratefully acknowledge the following online sources: Google Search Engine, and the Science Daily.
This page is compiled by Lisa Wells, CFHT Remote Observer
This page is designed by Tito Jankowski, maintained by Lisa Wells, CFHT Remote Observer