the latest news from the maunakea observatories

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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 […]
December 8, 2020

Blast from the Past!

The enigmatic star CK Vulpeculae, first seen as a bright new star in 1670, was lost for over three centuries. The star was then re-discovered 40 years ago via its surrounding nebular debris, and found to be far more distant than previously thought. This means that the explosive event 350 years ago that caused it to brighten and eject the […]
November 18, 2020

Two Maunakea Telescopes Confirm First Brown Dwarf Discovered by Radio Observations

For the first time, astronomers have combined observations from a large radio telescope (known as LOFAR) in Europe and two telescopes on Maunakea – the IRTF and Gemini – to discover and investigate a cold brown dwarf, or failed star. This is the first such object to be discovered through radio observations — until now, brown dwarfs have always been […]
November 17, 2020

Observing Clusters of Galaxies Collide

Using a trio of world-leading observatories, including the Subaru Telescope on Maunakea, astronomers have observed clusters of galaxies colliding in the distant Universe. The Subaru telescope can observe the visible light from stars, but these galaxies also have other important components, including dark matter and hot gas, which can’t be seen with visible light. So the astronomers combined visible, radio, […]