Institute for Astronomy

University of Hawaiʻi

Our Vision

To be the premier institution for astronomy research and education, locally, nationally, and internationally, that is respectful of the local culture.

Latest News & Updates

Newly-discovered planets will be ‘swallowed’ by their stars

IfA Astronomers are part of a team that recently discovered three planets orbiting dangerously close to stars nearing the ends of their lives.

Explosion of supergiant star captured by UH telescope

A team of researchers used IfA's Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) on Maui and W. M. Keck Observatory on Hawaiʻi Island to observe a red supergiant during the last 130 days leading up to its deadly detonation.

Enhanced SETI instrument installed on Haleakalā

Ongoing research into the potential for finding alien life has acquired a powerful boost atop the summit of Haleakalā. The SETI Institute recently completed the installation of two LaserSETI instruments on the rooftops of an existing building.

Ground-breaking UH-designed sensors aboard NASA’s historic space telescope

Technology developed and tested at the University of Hawaiʻi Institute for Astronomy (IfA) and on Maunakea are behind JWST’s ability to gaze deeper into space than ever before.

IfA Astronomer Dan Huber on 2021 Highly Cited Researchers List

IfA Astronomer Dan Huber is one of 4 UH researchers featured in the 2021 Web of Science’s Highly Cited Researchers list. Great work Dan!

Unveiling Exploding Stars with JWST: Free Virtual Talk Dec. 8

Join IfA astronomer Chris Ashall for an enlightening talk on supernovae - exploding stars - and what JWST will help us learn about them. Chris is one of a handful of astronomers to have two approved programs in the first cycle of JWST observations. WEDNESDAY, Dec. 8th...

What we do

Research

Our Astronomers  study everything from the Sun to the structure of the Universe, using the best observing sites in the world

Develop

We create cutting-edge instrumentation and technology, and innovative surveys to study the ever-changing night sky

Educate

Our world-class degree programs include a PhD in Astronomy, an undergraduate BA in Astronomy, and a BS in Astrophysics

Engage

Our extensive public outreach program brings astronomy to our community, and our news stories highlight the latest discoveries

Our Mission

The University of Hawai‘i is located in the most diverse community and environment in the world. We are a globally recognized center of learning and research, with a kuleana to serve the people and places of Hawaiʻi and our neighbors in the Pacific.  The IfA’s mission is to advance scientific understanding of the origin and nature of the universe, by conducting high-impact research, developing new technologies to observe the cosmos, defending the planet from potentially hazardous asteroids, and sharing knowledge of astronomy through education and outreach, in particular engaging with the native Hawaiian community. 

Our Values

  • Valuing science as a way to illuminate our place in the universe
  • Maintaining the integrity of the scientific process
  • Revering the natural environment, including the dark skies
  • Respecting Native Hawaiian practices and philosophies
  • Affirming the international character of academic research

Events

Unveiling Exploding Stars with JWST: Free Virtual Talk Dec. 8

Join IfA astronomer Chris Ashall for an enlightening talk on supernovae - exploding stars - and what JWST will help us learn about them. Chris is one of a handful of astronomers to have two approved programs in the first cycle of JWST observations. WEDNESDAY, Dec. 8th...

Makahiki Games and Stargazing on Dec. 4!

Makahiki games, solar viewing, and stargazing at Ala Moana Beach Park, Dec. 4, 3-9pm

The Future of Infrared Detectors: Free Virtual Talk Dec. 1

Join IfA Astronomer Michael Bottom on Wed., Dec. 1 as he discusses the future development of infrared detectors here in Hawaiʻi.

Near Total Lunar Eclipse Live Stream Nov. 18

Enjoy a telescopic view of the 97% total lunar eclipse late Thursday evening! Streaming live at YouTube.com/UHIfA 10pm-midnight HST.

AstroDay Kona is November 14 at Kona Commons!

Keiki and their families are invited to reach for the stars at the AstroDay celebration, Sunday, November 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Kona Commons Shopping Center in Kailua-Kona.

HAWAII: The Eyes of JWST – Public Talk Nov. 17

Join us Wednesday, Nov. 17, 5:30PM for a free virtual public talk on the HAWAII infrared detectors that will fly aboard JWST!

JWST Launch Party Events!

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is scheduled to launch on December 18. 2021. We are celebrating with four virtual talks about JWST science and technology related to IfA.

IfA’s Super Blood Moon broadcast nets gazers world wide

On May 26, Hawaiʻi enjoyed prime viewing of a total lunar eclipse—when the Earth comes between the Sun and the full Moon.

Award-winning science TV show features UH astronomer, students

The award-winning television show, Xploration Awesome Planet will feature University of Hawaiʻi Institute for Astronomy (IfA) education and outreach specialist, J.D. Armstrong and his students on Saturday, May 15, at 2:30 p.m. on KHON.

Maikalani Community Lecture: Bernie Taylor: “Are We Alone in the Cosmos? – Biological Time and the Drake Equation”

Maikalani Community Lecture: Bernie Taylor: "Are We Alone in the Cosmos? - Biological Time and the Drake Equation" 6:30 p.m. at the Maikalani building in Pukalani, Maui. Free. Also streamed live online and on Second Life.Naturalist and author Bernie Taylor...

Institute for Astronomy