Stories

Ho‘i Mai — Makana Silva Bringing Knowledge Back Home

Makana Silva, a self-described kanak (kanaka maoli), a Native Hawaiian astrophysicist and strongman, hails from the island of O‘ahu and currently is working on his dissertation in the physics department at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Born and raised in humble conditions, his longtime interest in science has taken him to study theContinue reading “Ho‘i Mai — Makana Silva Bringing Knowledge Back Home”

From Hilo and Tokyo, Two Astronomers’ Paths Converged to Help Win the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics

The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel, and Andrea Ghez for the discovery of a supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Devin Chu, from Hilo, and Shoko Sakai, from Tokyo, were part of Andrea’s team at UCLA, working with the prize-winning data that wasContinue reading “From Hilo and Tokyo, Two Astronomers’ Paths Converged to Help Win the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics”

Tyler Trent Talks Astrophysics: Humble, Social, Creative

“Everyone chooses to spend their time doing certain things and learning about certain things, and I just chose to spend my time learning about [astrophysics]. But it doesn’t make me any smarter or any more capable of navigating the world than someone who decided to be a surfer.”

A Beer Spectrometer and Other Adventures: Mailani Neal on Being an Instrument Scientist in Astronomy

Instrument scientists thrive on engineering and technology. Cherished characters from sci-fi might come to mind: Scotty. Geordi. B’Elanna. Kaylee. Add Mailani Neal to the list. A graduate student at New Mexico Tech, Mailani is working toward a PhD that will advance her to her goal of becoming an instrument scientist. She reflects that “it’s veryContinue reading “A Beer Spectrometer and Other Adventures: Mailani Neal on Being an Instrument Scientist in Astronomy”

TMT donation to The Food Basket

Astronomy Supports Hawai‘i’s Community

In movies and TV, the practice of astronomy is sometimes represented as a solitary venture, isolated from the rest of society. To an extent this is true: the best observations take place in remote locations in order to avoid light pollution and other atmospheric and electromagnetic interference. That doesn’t mean that astronomers, as human beings,Continue reading “Astronomy Supports Hawai‘i’s Community”

Tyler Trent: An Up-and-Coming Astrophysicist Who Once Opposed the TMT

Tyler Trent, a 26-year-old graduate student in astrophysics at the University of Arizona, was born and raised on O‘ahu. He studies astrophysics with a focus on black holes: super-massive and super-compact objects with gravitational fields so strong that even light cannot escape once it is drawn into their maws. But pursuing an education in astronomyContinue reading “Tyler Trent: An Up-and-Coming Astrophysicist Who Once Opposed the TMT”

Richard Ha: Embracing Past and Future

Imagine a future Hawai’i freed from its dependency on shipped-in fossil fuels. Imagine a future Hawai’i maintaining its reputation as a world-class destination for cutting-edge science, in concert with a celebration of Hawaiian history, culture, and knowledge. Imagine a future Hawai’i with a stronger agricultural base, and less reliant on food boated over from theContinue reading “Richard Ha: Embracing Past and Future”

Kālepa Baybayan & Astronomy on Mauna Kea

Kālepa Baybayan’s point of view on the pursuit of astronomy on Mauna Kea has often been sought, and he has generously agreed to speak out frequently (formally, in court hearings, and informally at public panels) in support of the Thirty Meter Telescope’s (TMT’s) construction. “It’s good for humanity, it’s great for the state of Hawai‘i,Continue reading “Kālepa Baybayan & Astronomy on Mauna Kea”