Commentary on “Stargazing From Space and Summit”

Ryan Ozawa is a well known tech advocate and writer in Hawaii. He is featured on a weekly mail list and his website, The Hawaii Bulletin. His article of December 27 titled Stargazing From Space and Summit offers an insight into the importance of space sciences and particularly astronomy is to the understanding of our world and the universe around us. Space and ground based astronomy is an ongoing science and industry as it has been for decades.

Hawaii plays an important role in astronomy, mainly for its location and clear skies high up on the summits of Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and Haleakala volcanoes. Mauna Kea is the focal point of Hawaii’s important astronomy industry and the science it supports. The observatories up on the summit have long been held in high regard all around the world. They are a part of a worldwide conglomeration of astronomical observation stations based on the ground as well as newer platforms based in orbit around our planet.

Ryan’s article clearly points out some of the facets of the ongoing science and technology that Hawaii’s astronomical community is engaged in. It is just as important for Hawaii’s community at large to support the ongoing science of astronomy taking place in the state. Building the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will definitely cement Hawaii’s role in the forefront of ground based astronomy. Ryan’s article alludes to the importance of the TMT.

Excerpts from Ryan’s article follow:

“Hawaii serves as a nexus of the global astronomy community, so it’s fair to say people in and connected to the islands were especially interested in what “Astro2020” had to say about projects and facilities in the Hawaiian Islands.

There was a lot to be excited about.

The report stated that “Participation in the U.S. Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) Program is the highest priority recommendation for ground-based astronomy. That means more focus on, and hopefully more funding for, the Giant Magellan Telescope in Chile, and the Thirty-Meter Telescope in Hawaii.

The report says that the combination of the two, one in each hemisphere, “provides observational capabilities unmatched in space or the ground, and opens an enormous discovery space for new observations and discoveries not yet anticipated.”

You can read Stargazing From Space and Summit by following the links provided in this short commentary.


Melvin Ah Ching is a photographer, consultant, blogger, desktop publisher, and computer enthusiast living and working in Hawaii. The Hawaii Files have been online since 2006.