GeminiFocus July 2018 - Page 27

Janice Harvey AstroDay Hawai‘i 2018 Staff from all of the Maunakea observatories, including over a dozen from Gemini, joined in the fun at Hilo’s Prince Kuhio Mall on Saturday, May 5th, for AstroDay Hawai‘i on the Big Island. As these AstroDay Hawai‘i participants learned, you can explore Gemini North on a smart phone by scanning the QR code for Gemini’s virtual tour. Credit: all photos by Joy Pollard Celebrated since 2002, Hawai‘i’s AstroDay is an annual event organized by the Hilo office of the University of Hawai‘i In- stitute for Astronomy. It coincides with an international grass-roots movement of the same name that shares the excitement of astronomy with local communities every spring since 1973. While the parent event generally focuses on nighttime stargazing, AstroDay Hawai‘i is offered for six hours during the day, allowing it to incorporate more than stargazing alone to capture the public’s attention and help promote astronomy to our local community. Despite a large earthquake the day before, this year’s As- troDay Hawai‘i was well attended. AstroDay presenters in- cluded volunteers from facilities on Maunakea, Maunaloa, Haleakalā, and O‘ahu, as well as educators, students, com- munity groups, and educational vendors. Over 30 science, education, and community organizations also participated in the festivities, creating a well-rounded and exciting day for celebrating knowledge. Attending families and individuals were able to look at the Sun through telescopes with safe solar filters in the mall’s parking lot and learn about our nearest star. Inside the mall, booths were set up where guests could participate July 2018 GeminiFocus 25