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Science City Haleakala

Sharon Mau

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Science City Haleakala


Sharon Mau


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Ala Hea Ka La - Kilakila O Haleakala is sacred. In spite of continuous protests by indigenous Hawaiians as well as many other residents of Maui to stop the desecration of our sacred volcano, construction on the sacred summit continues.

Because of the remarkable clarity, dryness, and stillness of the air, and its location above one-third of the atmosphere, as well as the absence of the lights of major cities, the summit of Haleakalā (like Mauna Kea) is one of the most sought-after locations in the world for ground-based telescopes. As a result of the geographic importance of this observational platform, experts come from all over the world to take part in research at "Science City", an astrophysical complex operated by the U.S. Department of Defense, University of Hawaii, Smithsonian Institution, Air Force, Federal Aviation Agency, and others.

Some of the telescopes operated by the US Department of Defense are involved in researching man-made (e.g. spacecraft, monitoring satellites, rockets, and laser technology) rather than celestial objects. The program is in collaboration with defense contractors in the Maui Research and Technology Park in Kihei. The astronomers on Haleakalā are concerned about increasing light pollution as Maui's population grows. Nevertheless, new telescopes are added, such as the Pan-STARRS in 2006.

The potentially active volcano has produced numerous eruptions in the last 30,000 years, including in the last 500 years. This volcanic activity has been along two rift zones, the southwest and east. These two rift zones together form an arc that extends from "Ahihi Kinau" on the southwest, through the Haleakalā Crater and to Hāna, to the east. The east rift zone continues under the ocean beyond the east coast of Maui toward the Big Island, and it is known as Haleakalā Ridge, making the combined rift zones one of the longest in the Hawaiian Islands chain."

information source Wikipedia
Copyright 2013 Sharon Mau - All Rights Reserved
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January 6th, 2011


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