This wonderous place
in Hilo, Hawaii
by Cynthia & Joed.
all photos copyrighted
Mauna Kea, Hawaii
Location: 19.8N, 155.5W
Elevation: 13,792 feet (4,205 m)
Located in the saddle between Mauna Kea,
and Mauna Loa is POHAKULOA MILITARY CAMP.
A training facility & future home of the
Armys Striker Brigade.
I spent some time when I was active
Army back in the Ice Age
I have a deep appreciation for
the Hawaiian Curtural Rebirth,
and with my heart and soul I pray
that the Nation of Hawaii is
re-established by the U.S.A..
There is one point of contention I do have
with alot of my friends involved in this effort.
My difference extends to the very summit of Mauna Kea.
Quite a few of the Hawaiian Ohanas vieing for
stewardship of the Islands resources are very vehemenent
against the future development of the summit area.
To these friends I put out this thought.
First off the the Hawaiian people
were historys greatest navigators undeniably.
They had a level of knowledge of the heavens that
no other explorers ever reached.
Without which these islands would never have
known the civilization that
existed prior to foreign involvment.
They claim that the horizon of the summit
area should not be disrupted by scientific outlines.
I feel deeply that they are wrong in this stance.
Mauna Kea Summit is the next step in
the exploration of our heavens and aina.
These towering structures are lierally
the " great canoes" of future generations.
They help keep the very forces and beliefs
that brought these great peoples to this aina
continue to grow as the worlds greatest explorers.
These men and woman studying the heavens are indeed
a continuence of the journey
that began thousands of years ago.
Base Camp is located at 9,000 foot level,
Scientists and staff live here.
The Elison Onizuka Center is located here.
They have night viewing telescopes available,
and this area is the spot to dress up
in your winter gear forthe journey up the mountain
This area is also where you need to stop
for an advised period of 30 minutes to an hour
to aclimate your body to the altitude changes.
Onomea Arch fell during an earthquake
in 1956 after standing for thousands of years.
Today the fallen arch appears as a wide
crevice in the cliff on the north side
of Onomea Bay, but this favorite Hilo
landmark is preserved in antique postcards
which recall its glory from the turn of the century.
Mauna Kea is the tallest volcano
on the Island of Hawaii.
From sea floor to summit it
towers more than 5.6 miles (9 km).
It is also the second largest
volcano on the island.
It began erupting on the
sea floor about 800,000 years ago.
Most of the volcano is made
of shield-building lavas.
Post-shield volcanism began
about 300,000 years ago,
producing cinder cones and
lava flows that cover most of
the present-day surface of the volcano.
The light colored material that blankets the
summit of the volcano is glacial till.
Mauna Kea is the only Hawaiian volcano
known to be glaciated.
Mauna Kea has erupted several
times in the last 10,000 years.
The most recent eruption was
about 3,500 years ago
In the 1960s,
the UH Institute for Astronomy
provided the scientific push
for the development of Mauna Kea
into the world's most pristine site
for ground-based astronomical observatories.
More major telescopes are now located on
Mauna Kea than on any other single mountain peak.
Mauna Kea is recognized as offering the best
conditions for optical, infrared and
than any other presently operating sites.
The University of Hawaii has a lease from
the State of Hawaii for all land within a 2.5-mile
radius of the site of the UH 2.2-m Telescope -
basically all of the land above 12,000 ft elevation -
except for the portions of this circular area
which lie within the Mauna Kea Ice
Age Natural Area Reserve.
The leased land is known as the
Mauna Kea Science Reserve.
The adoption of the Mauna Kea
Science Reserve Master Plan
by the University of Hawai'i
Board of Regents in June 2000
marked a critical milestone
in the management of Mauna Kea.
Meetings and public hearings
spanning a period of nearly two years
went into the formulation of the Master Plan,
which establishes management
guidelines for the next 20 years.
The process reflected the community's
deeply rooted concerns over the use
of Mauna Kea, including respect for
Hawaiian cultural beliefs, protection of
environmentally sensitive habitat, recreational
use of the mountain, as well as astronomy research.
Management of the summit area is now
the responsibility of the
Office of Mauna Kea Management in Hilo.
Hawaii is Earth's clearest point to the
rest of the Universe. The summit of Mauna Kea
on the Island of Hawaii hosts the world's
largest astronomical observatory, with telescopes
operated by astronomers from eleven countries.
The combined light-gathering power of the
telescopes on Mauna Kea is fifteen times greater
than that of the Palomar telescope in California
-- for many years the world's largest --
and sixty times greater than
that of the Hubble Space Telescope
There are currently thirteen working telescopes
near the summit of Mauna Kea. Nine of them
are for optical and infrared astronomy,
three of them are for submillimeter wavelength
astronomy and one is for radio astronomy.
They include the largest optical/infrared telescopes
in the world (the Keck telescopes), the largest
dedicated infrared telescope (UKIRT) and the largest
submillimeter telescope in the world (the JCMT).
The westernmost antenna of the Very Long Baseline
Array (VLBA) is situated at a
lower altitude two miles from the summit
Mauna Kea is unique as an astronomical observing site.
The atmosphere above the mountain is extremely dry --
which is important in measuring infrared and
submillimeter radiation from celestial sources -
and cloud-free, so that the proportion
of clear nights is among the highest in the world.
The exceptional stability of the atmosphere above
Mauna Kea permits more detailed studies
than are possible elsewhere, while its distance
from city lights and a strong island-wide lighting
ordinance ensure an extremely dark sky,
allowing observation of the faintest galaxies
that lie at the very edge of the observable Universe.
A tropical inversion cloud layer about 600 meters
(2,000 ft) thick, well below the summit,
isolates the upper atmosphere from the lower moist
maritime air and ensures that the summit
skies are pure, dry, and free
from atmospheric pollutants.
As we approached Base Camp again safely
we all realized that we had never been
closer to heaven and the next arena
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