ann21025 — Announcement
The Solar System Comes to Hilo
The annual Waimea Solar System Walk is now at Liliʻuokalani Park and Gardens
7 July 2021
For the first time ever, the Solar System Walk — which has been a successful annual fixture in Waimea, Hawai‘i, for several years — will also take place in Hilo on Hawai‘i Island. The Solar System Walk will take place in the Liliʻuokalani Park and Gardens in Hilo, with some adjustments to accommodate COVID-19 safety measures. The Solar System Walk will be available from 7 July 2021, and will continue for one month. The start date coincides with the celestial Tanabata Festival, which is celebrated at Liliʻuokalani Gardens. The Hilo Solar System Walk has been made possible by the NSF’s NOIRLab’s first-time partnership with the Friends of Liliʻuokalani Gardens.
“We are excited to host the Solar System Walk and bring this event to Hilo, especially when it coincides with the Tanabata Festival,” said K.T. Cannon-Eger, president of the Friends of Liliʻuokalani Gardens. “On 7 July we’ll be providing visitors with pieces of colorful paper and rafia to hang up their wishes in the bamboo grove.”
The self-guided and socially distanced walk involves a series of decals positioned on the ground, along the Banyan Drive portion of the park (see map for more details), each representing a different Solar System object. The decals are spaced out in proportion to the relative distances between objects in the Solar System, allowing participants to ‘walk the Solar System.’ An informative video about each object is accessible via a QR code at each decal. The videos are available in both English and in ‘Ōlelo Hawaiʻi (the Hawaiian Language). The total distance of the Solar System Walk is 0.3 miles (0.5 km). The planets in the Solar System Walk are spaced so the tour can be completed in approximately six minutes.
The ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi scripts for every video were created by Leinani Lozi, an outreach assistant at NOIRLab’s Gemini Hilo Base Facility . Lozi herself is featured reading her scripts in three of the eight Solar System walk videos. 
“Expanding the popular Waimea Solar System Walk to Hilo is an important step toward reaching more families and their keiki (kids),” Lozi explained. “My dream is to reach every corner of this island and inspire other islands in our state to set up their own Solar System walks”
 Lozi is a 2nd-year language student at Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani, College of Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. She was assisted in researching the traditional and contemporary names of planets in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi by Alexis Acohido, a telescope operator at the East Asian Observatory/James Clerk Maxwell Telescope. Lozi’s Kumu (teacher), Isaac Kealohapauʻole Ahuna, assisted in editing the scripts. The scripts Lozi reads are: Venus, Uranus, and Pluto and the Kuiper Belt Objects. In addition, Jameeka Marshall, outreach assistant at NOIRLab’s Gemini Hilo Base Facility, is featured in the English section of the Jupiter video.
 The remaining five scripts were read by Shelly Pelfrey and Matthew Brown, both from the W. M. Keck Observatory. The Waimea Solar System Walk was originally a one-day event led by CFHT and Keck Observatory, with participation from nearly all the other Maunakea Observatories including the international Gemini Observatory.
NSF’s NOIRLab (National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory), the US center for ground-based optical-infrared astronomy, operates the international Gemini Observatory (a facility of NSF, NRC–Canada, ANID–Chile, MCTIC–Brazil, MINCyT–Argentina, and KASI–Republic of Korea), Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO), Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), the Community Science and Data Center (CSDC), and Vera C. Rubin Observatory (operated in cooperation with the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory). It is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with NSF and is headquartered in Tucson, Arizona. The astronomical community is honored to have the opportunity to conduct astronomical research on Iolkam Du’ag (Kitt Peak) in Arizona, on Maunakea in Hawai‘i, and on Cerro Tololo and Cerro Pachón in Chile. We recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that these sites have to the Tohono O'odham Nation, to the Native Hawaiian community, and to the local communities in Chile, respectively.
The W. M. Keck Observatory, Canada France Hawaiʻi Telescope (CFHT), and University of Hawai‘i Institute for Astronomy in Hilo worked together to design this year's socially distanced walk while nearly all of the Maunakea Observatories, the Thelma Parker Library, and the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems helped to create the informational videos. NOIRLab participated in the production and translation of materials for the event.
Cell: +1 808 785 9331
Friends of Liliʻuokalani Gardens
Cell: +1 808 895 8130
Press and Internal Communications Officer
Cell: +1 626 524 5884