Mauna Kea Observatories | Hawaii Photo Spot

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Mauna Kea Observatories by Paxton Tomko
Mauna Kea Observatories by Paxton Tomko

The summit of Mauna Kea hosts the world’s largest astronomical observatory, with telescopes operated by astronomers from eleven countries. Mauna Kea is unique as an astronomical observing site. The atmosphere above the mountain is extremely dry — which is important in measuring infrared and submillimeter radiation from celestial sources – and cloud-free, so that the proportion of clear nights is among the highest in the world. The exceptional stability of the atmosphere above Mauna Kea permits more detailed studies than are possible elsewhere, while its distance from city lights and a strong island-wide lighting ordinance ensure an extremely dark sky, allowing observation of the faintest galaxies that lie at the very edge of the observable Universe. (Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA)