the latest news from the maunakea observatories

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May 5, 2021
A fireball in Maunakea night sky

Night and Day, a Live Stream of the Sky from Subaru Telescope

Subaru telescope now live streams a section of the eastern sky from Maunakea via the YouTube channel of Asahi Space Club. This is in collaboration with the Asahi-Shimbun, one of the most popular newspapers in Japan. The camera streams its images both night and day; at night, it’s a good place to watch for meteors and other celestial events. Read […]
April 7, 2021

Subaru Telescope Observes a Comet Nucleus Covered in “Talcum Powder”

Astronomers using the Subaru Telescope on Maunakea have measured the characteristics of mid-infrared light from an old comet nucleus. The comet, originally detected by the Pan-STARRS survey telescope on Haleakalā, passed quite close to the Earth and the team managed to observe it just a day before its closest approach. Besides measuring the size of the nucleus (about half a […]
March 29, 2021
A view of the M87 supermassive black hole in polarized light

New light on Pōwehi: Magnetic Fields at the Edge of M87’s Black Hole

Two Maunakea telescopes, the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT), and the Submillimeter Array (SMA), have once again combined efforts with the global “Event Horizon Telescope” network to produce a view of Pōwehi, the Black Hole at the Center of the galaxy M87. The new results show the black hole in new light – specifically, polarized light. This enables astronomers, for […]
March 9, 2021

A Glimpse at the Infant Universe

Two Maunakea Observatories have been used to reveal the most distant – and therefore the youngest – known radio beacon in the early Universe. Seen as it was 780 million years after the big bang, the object – a quasar known as P172+18 – was originally discovered in images from the Pan-STARRS telescope on Haleakalā, Maui. Detailed study with the […]
March 1, 2021

Farfarout is Indeed Far, Far Out

Thanks to observations with the Subaru and Gemini North telescopes both on Hawaii’s Maunakea, astronomers have confirmed that a faint object discovered in 2018 and nicknamed “Farfarout” is indeed the most distant object yet found in our Solar System. Farfarout was first spotted in January 2018 by the Subaru Telescope and the discoverers could tell it was very far away, […]
February 10, 2021

CFHT Stares at a Young Rebel: the AU Mic Planetary System

An international team of astronomers used the capabilities of SPIRou on the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on Maunakea to measure the mass and density of a Neptune-like planet orbiting very close to the newborn, and highly active star AU Microscopii. Their analysis also shows that this warm planet orbits in the equatorial plane of the host star. This hints that the process […]
February 10, 2021

The Earliest Supermassive Black Hole and Quasar in the Universe

Three Maunakea Observatories, the Gemini, W.M. Keck, and UKIRT observatories have announced the discovery of the most distant known quasar. The quasar, observed just 670 million years after the Big Bang, is 1,000 times brighter than the Milky Way Galaxy. It is powered by the earliest known supermassive black hole, which weighs in at more than 1.6 billion times the […]
January 12, 2021
Animation of the asteroid 1998 KY26

Subaru Telescope Charts a Course to a Close-passing Asteroid

The Subaru Telescope on Maunakea recently captured images of the asteroid 1998 KY26, which travels close to Earth only once every 3.5 years. This asteroid is small, just 30 meters (less than 100 ft) across, so it is faint enough that most ground based telescopes can’t even detect it. Importantly, 1998 KY26 is the next target for the Japan Aerospace […]
December 18, 2020

New Instrument on Maunakea Telescope Nets its First Discovery

Subaru Telescope has a new state-of-the-art instrument, SCExAO/CHARIS, and it has made its first discovery. SCExAO/CHARIS is devoted to imaging and study of planets orbiting stars beyond our solar system (known as “exoplanets”). A team of astronomers have recently used this new instrument to identify an exoplanet, named HD 33632 Ab, orbiting a 1.5 billion year-old star similar to our […]