NOIRLab Celebrates AstroDay in Hilo with Hawai‘i Community
NSF’s NOIRLab staff participate in the annual AstroDay event in Hilo
20 May 2022
Led each year by the University of Hawai‘i’s Institute for Astronomy, AstroDay is one of the most well-attended astronomy outreach events in Hawai‘i. For the first time since the pandemic, AstroDay Hawai‘i took place in person on Saturday 14 May 2022 in the Prince Kuhio Plaza shopping center in Hilo. All of the Maunakea observatories, including the International Gemini Observatory, a Program of NSF's NOIRLab, participate in AstroDay, when staff amaze, educate, and inform visitors about astronomy in Hawai‘i. Many other science, education, and community organizations also participated in the festivities to create a well-rounded and exciting day of celebrating science and technology.
The annual AstroDay program in Hilo is emerging from the pandemic with a more traditional level of engagement. For the past two years, owing to the pandemic, AstroDay pivoted to a scaled-back, virtual/hybrid event. While this year’s program included significant COVID safety protocols and precautions, with masks and social distancing, it also included opportunities for demos and in-person interactions. Astronomical images and science activity handouts relating to NOIRLab science/technology were provided, allowing visitors to create their own personalized AstroDay kit. NOIRLab participation in AstroDay was led by Outreach Assistant Jameeka Marshall.
AstroDay coincides with Astronomy Day, an international grass-roots movement to share the joy of astronomy with local communities. Astronomy Day sees thousands of people throughout the world explore what amateur and professional astronomers learn, explore, and share about their science.
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 SLACNational 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.
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