Mauna Kea Star Gazing Program

Mauna Kea Star Gazing Program
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Address Mauna Kea, Hilo, HI
A nightly, free program that lets you see the stars from telescopes high up on Mauna Kea.

• General: Cost: Free • General: Educational • General: Has Gift Shop • General: Kid Activities • General: Restrooms
• Sightseeing: Great Views

The Mauna Kea Star Gazing Program takes place, as you could probably guess, on Mauna Kea. The star gazing program is not only free, but also happens every night of the year (from 6:00 pm until 10:00 pm). No reservations are needed.

The program will begin at 6:00 pm with the showing of First Light, which is a PBS Hawaii documentary about Mauna Kea (or Maunakea as they like to call it now). The film covers the history of the mountain from both cultural and astronomical perspectives. No need to show up right on time as you're welcome any time during the open evening hours.

Telescopes are set up for viewing. Once it's dark enough, the staff will point out various objects in the sky with a laser pointer. It's fun for the whole family so bring the kids. Just keep in mind that it's often very cold at this high altitude, many times around freezing, so bundle up.

Other safety tips: Be sure you have plenty of gas in your car since there is no gas station up the mountain. A flashlight is recommended, and while they suggest a red-filtered type we'll assume you forgot to pack that on your Hawaiian vacation. But there's probably a white flashlight built into your smart phone that could work as well.