the latest news from the maunakea observatories

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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 […]
April 12, 2022
AB Aurigae

Subaru Telescope Spots a Planet in Formation

Using the Subaru telescope on Maunakea, astronomers have discovered a Jupiter-like planet in the process of being formed in another solar system. This ground-breaking experiment provides evidence for a long-debated alternative theory for how Jupiter-like planets form. Read more, in the Subaru Telescope web release.
January 7, 2022
Milky Way illustration

MKOs Combine to Observe the Ruins of an Ancient Star Cluster

Astronomers have found the ruins of an ancient globular cluster in the outskirts of the Milky Way. Using the Canada-France-Hawaii and Gemini North telescopes on Maunakea, in conjunction with the Gaia satellite, they showed that the motions and compositions of stars in an outer-galaxy “stream” mean that it must have originated as a globular star cluster. In fact, this stream […]