NOIRLab and Gemini Welcomed Visitors to AstroDay 2023 in Kona
18 October 2023
Together with the other Maunakea Observatories (MKOs), the International Gemini Observatory, operated by NSF's NOIRLab, celebrated AstroDay Kona with families and friends of all ages on Saturday 7 October 2023. A free event held outdoors at the Kona Commons Shopping Center in Kailua-Kona, AstroDay Kona provided an estimated 400 visitors with the opportunity to learn about the Universe and the spectacular discoveries made by Gemini and the other telescopes on Maunakea. Like the Annual AstroDay in Hilo each May, this event is led by the University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy.
To share the wonders of the cosmos that inspire astronomy research, observatory staff presented the community with special science demonstrations and activities, informative exhibitions, including dozens of free images, the NOIRLab virtual tour and an infrared camera demonstration. “This event is a great opportunity for us to reach the public across Hawai‘i Island and broaden our geographical reach significantly,” said NOIRLab’s Peter Michaud.
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.
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