The best astronomical observations in the world are happening on Maunakea. It is home to some of the most scientifically productive telescopes in the world, making Hawai‘i an international leader in astronomical science. We are proud of the value science brings to the state of Hawai‘i — it diversifies our strengths and reminds the world that we are so much more than a tourist destination. The Observatories’ work studying the universe advances the kind of scientific curiosity that has always been a part of Hawai‘i’s cultural heritage, from the ancient celestial navigators to today. Click here to learn more about the most recent science news.
Some of the most important scientific discoveries that relied on data from Maunakea include:
Dark Energy and Cosmic Acceleration
While studying Type Ia supernovae, astronomers revealed that the Universe’s rate of expansion is accelerating. The repulsive force responsible for this acceleration is more commonly known as ‘dark energy.’ This discovery earned the 2011 Nobel Prize for Physics
Supermassive Black Hole in the Milky Way
By measuring the motions of stars at the heart of our Milky Way galaxy, researchers revealed a black hole that is 4.1 million times the mass of our Sun.
The first images of a planetary system orbiting another star were recorded on Maunakea.
Telescopes on Maunakea and Haleakala are the world’s leaders in detecting and studying near-earth asteroids, including those that may put the earth at risk.
Our cosmic frontier has been pushed to new extremes through the discovery of some of the most distant objects ever detected. Maunakea Observatories helped astronomers reach back to a time when the universe was only five percent of its present age of 13.8 billion years.