HILO – On Saturday, the Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo was bustling with robots, telescopes and excited young scientists.
The annual Astro Day is billed as a “Celebration of Astronomy & Hawaiian Culture”. The event featured over 40 exhibits, demonstrations and activity areas and musical performance throughout mall.
We spoke to Nadine Manset with the Mauna Kea Astronomy Outreach Committee, the organization that puts it all together.
The goal of the event is to bring astronomy to the people; a goal that seems to carry extra importance this year. This month has been challenging for astronomy on Hawaii Island. Astronomers have heard the calls from some who are opposed to the planned Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea to remove all telescopes from the summit of the sacred mountain. Some of those astronomers have told us they are uncomfortable defending the TMT – or their own profession – due to the emotions involved.
Astro Day coincides with Astronomy Day, an international movement to share the joy of astronomy with the general population.