Mauna Kea

Mauna Kea is the highest mountain in Hawaii. It's summit is over 4,200 meters. The summit has very good conditions for astronomical observation, mainly very clear nights in a high frequency. Therefore, the biggest complex of telescopes in the world is located there. The place is open to the public on weekends, so naturally we took advantage of that.

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Some of the telescopes at the top of Mauna Kea.

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As a part of the tour, we were able to visit two of the telescopes from the inside. This is how the control room looked like.

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Unfortunately, we could not use the rest rooms inside the telescopes. They were intended for handicapped aliens only.

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If this reminds you the pictures sent from Mars you are not the only one. In fact, this area is as close as it can get to the way the moon and Mars look like. Astronauts going to the moon practiced here, and the Pathfinder vehicle sent to Mars was checked with soil from Mauna Kea.

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The four of us taking a break from our training for landing on Mars.

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The lights of the cars interfere with the telescopes, so 30 minutes after sunset one must leave the summit. Yet, this leaves enough time to look at the beautiful sunset from Mauna Kea.
There's a very nice sight about Mauna Kea, maintained by the university of Hawaii. It's worth to check it out.
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