(BIVN) – The annual solar system walk was held this past weekend in Waimea, and that included an early-Halloween costume contest for children outside the Canada France Hawaii Telescope headquarters. This year, the giraffe took the top prize.
From the Maunakea Observatories:
A solar system walk of “astronomical proportions” took participants on a cosmic educational journey on Sunday, October 29. Attendees took an open-air stroll through a scale-based model of the solar system. A trail of space stations was set up along the walk and featured a variety of hands-on science demonstrations as well as information about exciting discoveries made from Maunakea on Hawaiʻi Island.
“Hawaiʻi’s connection to the universe is so special and unique,” says Mary Beth Laychak, director of communications and community engagement at Canada-France-Hawai‘i Telescope (CFHT). “We love sharing with the community the latest findings about the solar system, including the incredible images of Earth’s neighboring planets and celestial objects that telescopes have captured.”
Maunakea Observatories employees from CFHT, W. M. Keck Observatory, and Gemini Observatory, as well as University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Institute for Astronomy graduate students and friends from Thelma Parker Library, hosted participants as they visited each tent that spotlighted the wonders of our solar system, from inner planets to outer planets, the Kuiper Belt, and more.
• safe observations of the Sun using a solar telescope;
• erupting volcanoes made with baking soda and vinegar to highlight and honor our location on Hawai‘i Island as well as feature other planets that have volcanic activity;
• a demo explaining why it’s difficult to see Jupiter’s rings from Earth compared to Saturn; and
• a “sniff the planets” activity featuring Uranus and Neptune.
“This is an annual tradition designed to give a fun celestial experience for anyone who is curious about our Sun’s planetary system,” says Kekoa Alip, community engagement coordinator at Keck Observatory. “It’s great to see eyes light up as keiki and families experience the science that is being conducted right here in our beautiful Hawai‘i Island home.”
The Solar System Walk started at Keck Observatory’s office headquarters, continued along Mamalahoa Highway, and ended at CFHT’s office headquarters with free hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, refreshments, and a keiki costume contest.
The grand prize went to Maximus Coble of Waimea who won the contest for his giraffe costume, which was handmade such that when you feed it candy, the goodies go into his backpack.