April 6, 2023
Artist’s Impression of a Pair of Quasars at ‘Cosmic Noon’

Colliding Quasars Set to Trigger Energetic Star Formation 

Astronomers using the Gemini North and Keck telescopes, on Maunakea, have discovered two Quasars that are on the verge of merging to produce a giant elliptical galaxy. These quasars are thought to have formed when the Universe was a mere 3 billion years old. Seeing two such quasars in the process of merging is rare, let alone catching them in […]
January 4, 2023

Surprise Kilonova Explosion Upends our Understanding of Gamma-ray Bursts

Fillowup observations of an explosive collision involving neutron stars by two Maunakea observatories reveals that a so-called “long gamma-ray burst” (originally detected from an observatory in Earth orbit) upends our understanding of the origin of these extraordinary events. Read more, in the W.M.Keck Observatory and International Gemini Observatory/NOIRLab press releases.
November 14, 2022

Two Maunakea Observatories Find the Closest Black Hole to Earth

Using two Maunakea Observatories to follow up a star’s tiny wobbling motion detected by the orbiting Gaia satellite, astronomers have located the nearest black hole to the Sun. At 1600 light years, Gaia BH1, a companion to a Sun-like star, is some three times closer than the previous record holder, and appears to pose some interesting challenges for our understanding […]
October 19, 2022

The First Full 3-D View of a Binary Star-Planet System

Combining the signal from the VLBA dish on Maunakea with identical dishes across and beyond the continental US, astronomers have created the first ever three-dimensional view of the orbit of a Jupiter-like planet in a binary star system. Read more and see a video of the orbit, in the VLBA press release.
September 16, 2022
A conceptual rendering of the discovery

Discovery of a Temperate “Super-Earth” in the Habitable Zone Around a Nearby Star

Using the Subaru Telescope on Maunakea and the Faulkes telescope on Haleakalā, observers have discovered two temperate, rocky planets a little larger than our own Earth, and both orbiting a faint red star just 100 light years from us. One of the two lies in the star’s “habitable zone” and so could have liquid water on its surface. Read more, […]
September 12, 2022
Artistic rendition of the exoplanet TOI-1452 b

CFHT Detects a Probable Ocean World

Astronomers using the Canada-France Hawaii telescope have identified a probable “Ocean World”  among the candidates found by NASA’s TESS satellite. Measuring the minute wobble of the planet’s host star, they found that planet is much less dense than a rocky body like Earth. The planet is also far enough from its star that water can exist as liquid, so this […]
August 2, 2022
Schematic diagram of Ross 508 planetary system

Subaru Telescope Survey Detects Its First Exoplanet in the Habitable Zone

Researchers using the Subaru Telescope on Maunakea have found an exoplanet which spends about half its time in the “habitable zone” around its host star, and which may be able to retain liquid water on its surface. The exoplanet – known as Ross 508b – will be a prime target for life searches by a future generation of large telescopes. […]
July 7, 2022


Governor Ige signed HB2024 into law today, creating the Maunakea Stewardship and Oversight Authority, declaring astronomy as a policy of the state.  Mahalo to the Hawai’i State Legislature, the Mauna Kea Working Group and the many community members for their efforts.  We share the commitment stated by the University of Hawai’i to support the new Mauna Kea Stewardship and Oversight […]
July 6, 2022
The ultra-faint dwarf galaxy Pegasus V

Amateur Spots Unusual Galaxy: Gemini North Takes Closer Look

On the outer fringes of the Andromeda Galaxy an unusual ultra-faint dwarf galaxy, first spotted by an amateur astronomer, has been observed by the Gemini North telescope on Maunakea. The followup observations reveal the galaxy is a “fossil,” and among the first galaxies to form in the Universe. Read more, in the Gemini Observatory press release. The International Gemini Observatory […]
June 20, 2022
First image of the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way

Maunakea Observatories Contribute to the First-Ever Image of the Black Hole at the Center of the Milky Way

Observations from the James Clerk Maxwell telescope and the Submillimeter Array, both located on Maunakea, contributed to the production of the first-ever image of the shadow of the black hole at the heart of the Milky Way galaxy, by the “Event Horizon Telescope”. This incredibly challenging observation builds on the more than 20-year history of studies of the Galactic Center […]
June 16, 2022
Near Sun object 323P/SOHO

Maunakea Observatories Help Catch a Comet Disintegrating

Using the Subaru telescope on Maunakea, astronomers have discovered a Jupiter-like planet in the Three Maunakea telescopes (Subaru, CFHT and Gemini) played key, complementary parts in capturing the first ever images of a rocky comet (named 323P/SOHO) breaking apart close to the Sun. This helps to explain why so few near-Sun comets are observed. Read Read more, in the Subaru […]
June 16, 2022
NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft captured these views of Uranus (on the left) and Neptune (on the right)

Maunakea Observatories Help Explain the Colors of Uranus and Neptune

Astronomers may now understand why the similar planets Uranus and Neptune are different colors. Using observations with the Gemini North telescope and NASA Infrared Telescope Facility on Maunakea, and the Hubble Space Telescope in orbit, researchers developed a single atmospheric model that matches observations of both planets. The model reveals that excess haze on Uranus builds up in the planet’s […]