UH Reveals Clinton visit to Maunakea Telescopes | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

UH Reveals Clinton visit to Maunakea Telescopes

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveled to the summit of Maunakea in early January 2018 and learned about the cultural, natural and scientific significance of the mountain.

The Clintons were shown culturally and geologically important sites before touring the W. M. Keck Observatory, one of the largest and most scientifically important optical/infrared telescopes in the world. After watching the sunset from Hawai?i’s highest peak at nearly 14,000 feet, the Clintons returned to Halep?haku at the 9,200 foot elevation for stargazing.

The University of Hawai?i at Hilo’s Department of Physics and Astronomy set up two, 9.25-inch telescopes, one with an attached camera capturing images viewed through the telescope. The Clintons were in awe during the 90 minutes of viewing the overwhelming number of stars that can be seen from Maunakea.

“We showed them the Orion nebula, Pleiades open cluster and Andromeda galaxy, and towards the end, Mrs. Clinton chose a couple of objects and moved the telescope herself,” said Marianne Takamiya, UHHilo astronomy chair. Takamiya hosted the stargazing along with UH Institute for Astronomy astronomer Mark Chun, Wai?kea High School senior Alicia Chun and UH Hilo astronomy student Mitchel Rudisel.

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