September 17, 2008

As the International Year of Astronomy 2009 quickly approaches, and the Subaru Telescope passes the ninth anniversary from its dedication this month, Subaru and the W. M. Keck Observatory jointly host a program in each headquarters in Hilo and Waimea, inviting respected community members to find out about the world of astronomy. In Hilo over the next three months, Subaru’s base facility will be a gathering place for a talk-story series called “Sharing Astronomy with Kupuna.” Subaru or sumaru is an ancient Japanese word meaning get together. The program involves a series of informal talks and interactive sessions hosted by Hawaiian cultural practitioners and Hawaii-based astronomers.

During the “Kupuna Series,” Subaru astronomers will introduce their latest discoveries, the hot topics in astronomy, and newest cutting-edge technologies. Notable guests from the Hawaiian community will present an overview of Hawaiian heritage and astronomy, celestial navigation and wayfinding, and cultural beliefs and values of Mauna Kea.

The program will occur Wednesday evenings on September 24, October 29, and November 19, 2008. Each session will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will last approximately two hours. The first hour and half of the session will include talk stories and visual presentations. The last half hour will be open for more general questions and answers, with professional astronomers and cultural leaders providing information and assisting with discussion. There is no charge for the program, and light refreshments will be served courtesy of KTA Super Stores. Because seating is limited, please sign up as soon as possible.

Subaru’s headquarters is in the University Park complex on the UH-Hilo campus. Situated off Komohana Street, Subaru is located at 650 North A’ohoku Place, a couple hundred yards from and mauka (mountain side) of the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center. Throughout the year, Subaru hosts programs such as the school excursion from elementary to high school classes or groups, trainings for college students or school teachers, and so forth. Public tours at the summit facility are offered during the weekdays’ daytime which can be arranged through in our web site.

Subaru welcomes kupuna and family members to this interchange of ideas and information. Please call 934-7788 and inquire Pablo McLoud or Saeko Hayashi for further information or to register. On Thursdays following the above Hilo sessions, Keck Observatory hosts a separate session in Waimea, and they can be reached at 881-3854 or through their website at More details on the science and research at Subaru Telescope can be found at this website,

Public Information and Outreach Office
Subaru Telescope
National Astronomical Observatory of Japan
Phone (808) 934-7788 (Inquire Pablo McLoud or Saeko Hayashi)

Kupuna Poster (PDF File)

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