‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii
In Hawaiian, “imiloa” means “exploring new knowledge.” Ever since the first telescope was placed atop Mauna Kea, concerns have been voiced by members of the Hawaiian community that the presence of these observatories mars the sacred mountain. Mauna Kea is of massive significance to the Hawaiian culture. For this purpose, the ‘ Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii was built to help bridge the gap between ancient Hawaiian tradition and belief and astronomy. The three domes that comprise the building are intended to represent the volcanoes Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Hualalai.
Opened in February 2006, the center includes interactive exhibits detailing the origins of the Hawaiian people and the voyages they took to reach the islands. The Polynesians who landed on Hawaii’s shores were some of the earliest astronomers. They used the stars to navigate their long trip across the ocean.
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The state-of-the-art 120-seat planetarium features a 22-minute jaw-dropping show through the universe's origins in “Mauankea: Between Earth and Sky.” The wealth of information displayed throughout ‘Imiloa could take nearly a day to explore fully. Even if you don’t have that much time to spare, we recommend a trip, especially for families.
- ‘Imiloa is open Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- General admission is $19.00, children 5-12 $12.00, and children under 5 are free as of this writing. All current rates can be found here.
- Phone number: (808) 932-8901
‘Imiloa is located at 600 ‘Imiloa Place. The easiest way to get there is to take Route 11 (Kanoelehua Ave.) south out of town and take a right onto Puainako St. Follow Puainako for one and a half miles until you reach Komohana St. Take a right onto Komohana for a quarter of a mile, turn right onto Nowelo St. The second left is ‘Imiloa Place.