October 25, 2021
Image of the planet 2M0437

Infant Planet Discovered using Maunakea Telescopes

Online viewers of the Subaru Telescope live stream were mesmerised by a cluster of more than a dozen meteors One of the youngest planets ever observed around a distant star was recently discovered by an international team of scientists, using the Subaru and Keck observatories on Maunakea. The planet is several million years old, which is as young as the […]
October 20, 2021

A Crystal Ball Into Our Solar System’s Future

Astronomers using the Keck observatory on Maunakea have observed a planetary system located near the center of our Milky Way galaxy and provided a glimpse into the (distant) future of our own Solar System. Read more, in the W M Keck Observatory press release.
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 […]
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 […]
November 2, 2020

Galaxies in the Infant Universe were Surprisingly Mature

An international team of astronomers have performed the largest survey of distant galaxies in the early universe ever conducted. This survey (nicknamed ALPINE) aimed at measuring the gas and dust in over 100 distant galaxies located over 12 billion light years away from Earth, and involved the use of two Maunakea Observatories — W. M. Keck Observatory and Subaru Telescope. […]
October 21, 2020

Anemic Star Cluster Breaks Metal-Poor Record

Two Maunakea telescopes (Keck and the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope) have found a globular star cluster in the nearby Andromeda Galaxy that contains a record-breaking small amount of heavier elements like iron. This finding poses questions about how star-dense globular clusters could have formed in the early Universe. A globular star cluster is a large, dense collection of thousands to millions of […]
October 12, 2020

Andrea Ghez Wins Nobel Prize In Physics

Dr. Andrea Ghez, an astrophysicist at UCLA who has been observing the Galactic Center from Maunakea for over two decades, has won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics. She is honored for her pioneering work using W. M. Keck Observatory to provide conclusive experimental evidence of a supermassive black hole with the mass of four million suns residing at the […]
August 28, 2020

Rare Encounters Between Cosmic Heavyweights

A combination of three Maunakea observatories (Keck, Subaru and Gemini) has been used by a team of Astronomers to discover several pairs of merging galaxies. In our dynamically evolving Universe, galaxies experience collisions and mergers with other neighbouring galaxies. These rare events can be dramatic, causing the birth of new stars and the rapid feeding of the supermassive black holes […]
August 20, 2020

Citizen Scientists Help Locate Some of the Coolest Brown Dwarfs Ever Discovered

Astronomers using the W. M. Keck Telescope on Maunakea teamed up with a group of citizen scientists, aided by decades of astronomical catalogs from NSF’s NOIRLab Astro Data Lab, to discover nearly 100 new brown dwarfs. These fascinating objects are more massive than planets, but lighter than stars. Brown dwarfs are sometimes referred to as failed stars, as they lack […]
August 7, 2020

Record-breaking Galaxy Provides New Hints About the Early Stages of Our Universe

Astronomers have used the combination of two powerful Maunakea telescopes (Subaru and Keck) to discover a nearby galaxy that has broken the record for having the lowest level of oxygen ever seen. In astronomy, elements heavier than hydrogen and helium (the two main elements created in the Big Bang) are called “metals”, and the earliest galaxies are expected to have […]
July 29, 2020

Maunakea Observatories’ Quick Reflexes Capture Fleeting Flash

Astronomers have discovered the second-most distant confirmed short gamma-ray burst (SGRB) ever studied using two Maunakea Observatories in Hawaiʻi – W. M. Keck Observatory and the international Gemini Observatory, a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab. Observations confirm the object’s distance at 10 billion light-years away, placing it squarely in the epoch of cosmic high noon when the Universe was in its […]
June 25, 2020

Pōniuāʻena – A Quasar with a Monster Black Hole in the Early Universe

Using the UKIRT, Gemini North and Keck telescopes on Maunakea, and combining with observations from observatories in Chile (including Gemini South and Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory), astronomers have identified a quasar in the distant Universe, which is powered by a black hole about one and a half billion times as massive as our Sun. This quasar, the second most distant […]