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Manoa Open House, Webcast Part of 100 Hours of Astronomy

100 hours of astronomy logoThe annual Open House at IfA Manoa, which usually takes place on the last Sunday in April, has been moved to April 5 to coincide with a global International Year of Astronomy (IYA) project called "100 Hours of Astronomy," which officially begins on April 2 at 2 a.m. HST and ends at 6 a.m. on April 6.

Observing opportunities at the Open House will include sunspot viewing and remote observing with the NASA Infrared Telescope on Mauna Kea. For the children, there will be shows in the StarLab portable planetarium, bottle rocket launching, the Mars drop (packaging a raw egg so that it lands safely), sundial making, and a Lego Moon base. For people of all ages there will be a variety of demonstrations and interactive activities, Ask an Astronomer, laboratory tours, and talks about the latest developments in astronomy.

During the 100 hours event, astronomers at professional research observatories around the world will take viewers inside their telescope domes and control rooms during a live 24-hour webcast. The webcast will begin at 11 p.m. HST on April 2 with the observatories atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii and move westward to Australia and New Zealand, Asia, Europe, and North and South America. It will end on the U.S. West Coast.

The Mauna Kea Observatories participating in the event are the Canada-France-Hawai'i Telescope, Gemini North, the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope, Subaru Telescope, the Submillimeter Array, and the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope. For more information and a detailed timetable go to http://100hoursofastronomy.org/.

For more information about IYA activities in Hawaii, go to www.ifa.hawaii.edu/iya2009/. Big island events are listed on www.mkooc.org/IYA/.