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Photo by Rainer Arlt/AIP, Astronomischen Gesellschaft 2009, Potsdam


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From the Director

Dear Friends of the Institute for Astronomy,

It is always exciting when a long-term project finally begins to bear fruit. In this case, I am referring to the Pan-STARRS prototype sky survey telescope PS1, which began making regular science observations last May. Principal investigator Nick Kaiser and his team have been working on the design and execution of this project for almost 10 years. It was originally called the Panoramic Optical Imager, and the team, then known as the UH IfA Small-Telescopes Working Group, authored a 66-page proposal to build an array of four small telescopes equipped with huge CCD cameras to take wide-field images of the sky.

When you set out to do something new in science, it often takes longer than initially expected, but the rewards make overcoming unforeseen difficulties worthwhile. Such has been the case with PS1. The telescope and its unique Gigapixel Camera are making some very significant and exciting discoveries, including new types of supernovae, the extremely bright explosions that occur when stars die, and the detection of hitherto unknown near-Earth objects, which are asteroids with the potential to hit Earth. With the stream of data now coming in after every night of PS1 observations on Haleakala, there are many more exciting discoveries to come. Now, after many years of extremely hard work, the Pan-STARRS team can start to bring in the scientific harvest.

Aloha!
Rolf-Peter Kudritzki
Director, Institute for Astronomy

 

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Who Wants to Be a One-in-a- Millionaire?

Wednesday, November 17, Frontiers of Astronomy Community Lecture, "Who Wants to Be a One-in-a- Millionaire? The Odds of Intelligent Life & Civilization in the Galaxy," by Steven Desch (University of Arizona) 7:30 p.m., UH Manoa Art Building Auditorium (Room 132). Free. Campus parking, $5.

 

 
Highlights

Pan-STARRS Discovers First Potentially Hazardous Asteroid
Brown Dwarf Found Orbiting a Young Sun-like Star

Upcoming Events
Hana Hou: On Wednesday, December 8, IfA astronomer Robert Jedicke will again present "Einstein vs. Santa: Is Santa Breaking the Laws of Relativity?" at 7:30 p.m. in the UH Manoa Art Building Auditorium (Room 132). Admission is free. Campus parking is $5. More information

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