Mauna Kea, Hawaii

Mauna Kea: the Volcano with an Eye out in Space

celestial cone
Secondary crater at the base of Mauna Kea, yet above the clouds.
Small Mauna Keas
Mist about to cover a colony of fumaroles on Mount Mauna Kea.
Miniature Beings
Human visitors wait for dark to peer into space from Mount Mauna Kea
Door to Space
Space observatory about to open its telescope hatches
Golden Observatory
Sunset tinges the horizon and one of the observatories atop Mount Mauna Kea in warm tones.
army of observatories
Domes of space observatories from several countries, installed on top of Mount Mauna Kea.
Land Patches
Mountain edge in the middle of a sea of ​​clouds
Space wait
A group of visitors awaits the appearance of the stars in the firmament next to an observatory.
in line
Visitors scan the horizon around the Big Island at dusk. silhouettes at the top
above the world
Observatory domes at more than 4.000 meters in altitude and above the cloud cover. Above the clouds
An Artillery Dome
Chrome observatory contrasts with the dark earth at the top of Mauna Kea.
The roof of Hawaii was off-limits to natives because it housed benevolent deities. But since 1968, several nations sacrificed the peace of the gods and built the greatest astronomical station on the face of the Earth.

Despite the Anglophone name, as we explore the Big Island's vast interior, we almost forget that we're on an island.

Saddle Road winds from Hilo on the east coast to 2021 meters from its highest point. It punishes the engine of the car that we go through in low gears and a noisy effort.

Some time ago, local rent-a-car companies banned drivers from any adventures on the R200 (its official title), then considered one of the most dangerous of the world, due to the slope, the many one-way bridges, the poorly paved areas and their combination with frequent fog and rain.

However, local authorities have revamped the route. Only the irresolvable problem of the slope remained to be overcome. They continue to advise the climb to Mauna Kea on guided tours. Independent visitors quickly realize that nothing prevents them from moving forward on their own.

The Rise of the Mauna Kea Volcano, the Highest Mountain, from the Bottom of the Sea

That's what we do, renewing the suffering of the small utility vehicle that crawls up the mountain.

A few dozen turns later, we take a break to give you a break. We are faced with the strange sight of clouds invading the valley near the base of a colony of small craters reddened by the sunset.

Secondary Craters, Mauna Kea Volcano in Space, Big Island, Hawaii

Mist about to cover a colony of Mt fumaroles and volcano Mauna Kea.

At 2700 meters, we find the Visitors Centre, given to various Japanese excursions that meet the minimum acclimatization hour required by the summit.

The Second Half, after the Break for Acclimatization at the Visitors Center

Some sunbathe outside, others complete their astronomical training by examining the maps, videos and multimedia pieces displayed there. Still others discover the Japanese and Hawaiian roots of Ellison S. Onizuka, one of the astronauts sacrificed in 1986 by the Challenger shuttle explosion.

From the Visitors Center onwards, the asphalt gives way to a little beaten earth that makes the rest of the route dusty, as well as getting steeper.

Above 3.600 meters, the mountain reveals itself as a domain of extraterrestrial appearance, based on an ocher and red volcanic soil, devoid of vegetation but with new inactive craters projecting.

Once one of the last curves has been overcome, lost in the inhospitable landscape, the first white domes that house the telescopes are revealed.

Row of observatories, Mauna Kea volcano in space, Big Island, Hawaii

Domes of space observatories from several countries, installed on top of the Mauna Kea mountain and volcano.

The Astronomical Metamorphosis of Mount and Volcano Mauna Kea

In 1950, due to the lack of a road above 3.700 meters, only the neighboring island of Maui hosted observatories. Ten years later, the Chamber of Commerce began to encourage the astronomical development of Mauna Kea and to promote the mountain's unique potential.

At that time, NASA activity was intense, such as the dispute for partnerships between several universities in the United States. It justified, as never before, the installation of new observatories.

Chrome Observatory, Mauna Kea Volcano in Space, Big Island, Hawaii

Chromed Space Observatory contrasts with the dark earth from the top of the Mauna Kea volcano.

Several tests recorded the unique conditions of the roof of Hawai'i (Big Island) to house them. Beyond the simple location - in isolation in the high interior of the island and in the Pacific Ocean -, the dryness and stability of the atmosphere above the volcano top, which remains almost always above the clouds, enveloped in a darkness however protected by law.

In the mid-60s, NASA allocated funds to the University of Hawaii. They were intended to develop the local astronomical project. In 1970, this institution installed on Mauna Kea the UH88, the seventh most powerful optical/infrared telescope in the world, measuring 2.2 meters in diameter.

Other North American groups – such as the US Air Force and the Lowell Observatory – joined the colonization of the Mauna Kea which, soon after, was opened to foreign entities.

In 1973, Canada and France installed their CFHT, measuring 3.6 meters in diameter. Since then, individual and international projects have followed involving the United Kingdom, the Japan, Argentina, Australiathe Brazil and the Chile, in a total of thirteen telescopes of different types.

It is, even today, the largest astronomical station in the world.

Observatories, Mauna Kea volcano in space, Big Island, Hawaii

Observatory domes at more than 4.000 meters in altitude and above the cloud cover. Above the clouds

Lush Sunset Below Mauna Kea Volcano That Unveils Space

The sun fades over the horizon. The temperature immediately drops to freezing levels. obliges the slaves of photography at the top taking refuge in more layers of clothing.

Queue for sunset, Mauna Kea volcano in space, Big Island, Hawaii

Visitors scan the horizon around the Mauna Kea volcano at dusk

At the same time, the cloud floor turns lilac and purple and the sky above is painted yellow and orange. These tones also dominate the top of the mountain and take over the domes. But it's not just the scenery that takes your breath away.

More because of the rarefaction of the air at an altitude of 4205 meters than because of the cold itself, any sudden or tiring movement requires long inspirations and, at best, takes a long time to recover.

Or it causes nausea and distressing headaches - not to mention occasional pulmonary and brain edemas – in those who ignored the necessary habituation or forgot their portable oxygen.

observatory, Mauna Kea volcano in space, Big Island, Hawaii

Sunset tinges the horizon and one of the observatories atop Mount Mauna Kea in warm tones.

We are not aware of such drastic cases. Well prepared, even better equipped, the small assistance on the summit lets itself be dazzled by the sunset. Meanwhile, scientists at the observatories complete yet another night of astronomical contemplation. They rotate the tops of the domes, and point the telescopes in the desired spatial direction.

When twilight ends, some visitors return to the base of Mauna Kea and then to Hilo, Kona and other places in the Big Island. Others, the privileged, enter the huge observatories, ascend to the upper floors, settle down and study the firmament.

New summit telescopes are planned, including a revolutionary new Pan-STARRS system (Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System) – which will monitor the celestial vault at full time and the gigantic Thirty Meter that will make observations possible with ten times more spatial resolution than that guaranteed by Hubble.

Both projects raised a huge controversy between the traditionalist population of Hawaii and the environmentalists.

Golden Observatory, Mauna Kea Volcano in Space, Big Island, Hawaii

Space observatory about to open the hatches of its telescopes to space.

If, in 1960, the gods were ignored, it would be difficult for humans to stop this unbridled race for the vision of Space.

Key West, USA

The Tropical Wild West of the USA

We've come to the end of the Overseas Highway and the ultimate stronghold of propagandism Florida Keys. The continental United States here they surrender to a dazzling turquoise emerald marine vastness. And to a southern reverie fueled by a kind of Caribbean spell.
Chã das Caldeiras, Fogo Island Cape Verde

A "French" Clan at the Mercy of Fire

In 1870, a Count born in Grenoble on his way to Brazilian exile, made a stopover in Cape Verde where native beauties tied him to the island of Fogo. Two of his children settled in the middle of the volcano's crater and continued to raise offspring there. Not even the destruction caused by the recent eruptions deters the prolific Montrond from the “county” they founded in Chã das Caldeiras.    
Maui, Hawaii

divine hawaii

Maui is a former chief and hero of Hawaiian religious and traditional imagery. In the mythology of this archipelago, the demigod lassos the sun, raises the sky and performs a series of other feats on behalf of humans. Its namesake island, which the natives believe they created in the North Pacific, is itself prodigious.
Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park Indonesia

The Volcanic Sea of ​​Java

The gigantic Tengger caldera rises 2000m in the heart of a sandy expanse of east Java. From it project the highest mountain of this Indonesian island, the Semeru, and several other volcanoes. From the fertility and clemency of this sublime as well as Dantesque setting, one of the few Hindu communities that resisted the Muslim predominance around, thrives.
Pico Island, Azores

Pico Island: the Azores Volcano with the Atlantic at its Feet

By a mere volcanic whim, the youngest Azorean patch projects itself into the rock and lava apogee of Portuguese territory. The island of Pico is home to its highest and sharpest mountain. But not only. It is a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of the Azoreans who tamed this stunning island and surrounding ocean.

Mountains of Fire

More or less prominent ruptures in the earth's crust, volcanoes can prove to be as exuberant as they are capricious. Some of its eruptions are gentle, others prove annihilating.
Samarkand, Uzbekistan

The Astronomer Sultan

The grandson of one of the great conquerors of Central Asia, Ulugh Beg, preferred the sciences. In 1428, he built a space observatory in Samarkand. His studies of the stars led him to name a crater on the Moon.

Altitude Sickness: the Grievances of Getting Mountain Sick

When traveling, it happens that we find ourselves confronted with the lack of time to explore a place as unmissable as it is high. Medicine and previous experiences with Altitude Evil dictate that we should not risk ascending in a hurry.
La Palma, Canary IslandsSpain (España)

The Most Mediatic of the Cataclysms to Happen

The BBC reported that the collapse of a volcanic slope on the island of La Palma could generate a mega-tsunami. Whenever the area's volcanic activity increases, the media take the opportunity to scare the world.
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.
Big Island, Hawaii

Searching for Rivers of Lava

There are five volcanoes that make the big island of Hawaii grow day by day. Kilauea, the most active on Earth, is constantly releasing lava. Despite this, we live a kind of epic to envision it.
pearl harbor, Hawaii

The Day Japan Went Too Far

On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked the Pearl Harbor military base. Today, parts of Hawaii look like Japanese colonies but the US will never forget the outrage.
Lion, Elephants, PN Hwange, Zimbabwe
PN Hwange, Zimbabwe

The Legacy of the Late Cecil Lion

On July 1, 2015, Walter Palmer, a dentist and trophy hunter from Minnesota killed Cecil, Zimbabwe's most famous lion. The slaughter generated a viral wave of outrage. As we saw in PN Hwange, nearly two years later, Cecil's descendants thrive.
Mount Lamjung Kailas Himal, Nepal, altitude sickness, mountain prevent treat, travel
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 2nd - Chame to Upper BananaNepal

(I) Eminent Annapurnas

We woke up in Chame, still below 3000m. There we saw, for the first time, the snowy and highest peaks of the Himalayas. From there, we set off for another walk along the Annapurna Circuit through the foothills and slopes of the great mountain range. towards Upper Banana.
Colonial Church of San Francisco de Assis, Taos, New Mexico, USA
Architecture & Design
Taos, USA

North America Ancestor of Taos

Traveling through New Mexico, we were dazzled by the two versions of Taos, that of the indigenous adobe hamlet of Taos Pueblo, one of the towns of the USA inhabited for longer and continuously. And that of Taos city that the Spanish conquerors bequeathed to the Mexicothe Mexico gave in to United States and that a creative community of native descendants and migrated artists enhance and continue to praise.
Boats on ice, Hailuoto Island, Finland.
Hailuoto, Finland

A Refuge in the Gulf of Bothnia

During winter, the island of Hailuoto is connected to the rest of Finland by the country's longest ice road. Most of its 986 inhabitants esteem, above all, the distance that the island grants them.
The Crucifixion in Helsinki
Ceremonies and Festivities
Helsinki, Finland

A Frigid-Scholarly Via Crucis

When Holy Week arrives, Helsinki shows its belief. Despite the freezing cold, little dressed actors star in a sophisticated re-enactment of Via Crucis through streets full of spectators.
Accra, Ghana, Flagstaff House
Accra, Ghana

The Capital in the Cradle of the Gold Coast

Do From the landing of Portuguese navigators to the independence in 1957 several the powers dominated the Gulf of Guinea region. After the XNUMXth century, Accra, the present capital of Ghana, settled around three colonial forts built by Great Britain, Holland and Denmark. In that time, it grew from a mere suburb to one of the most vibrant megalopolises in Africa.
Obese resident of Tupola Tapaau, a small island in Western Samoa.
Tonga, Western Samoa, Polynesia

XXL Pacific

For centuries, the natives of the Polynesian islands subsisted on land and sea. Until the intrusion of colonial powers and the subsequent introduction of fatty pieces of meat, fast food and sugary drinks have spawned a plague of diabetes and obesity. Today, while much of Tonga's national GDP, Western Samoa and neighbors is wasted on these “western poisons”, fishermen barely manage to sell their fish.
Pueblos del Sur, Venezuela

The Pueblos del Sur Locainas, Their Dances and Co.

From the beginning of the XNUMXth century, with Hispanic settlers and, more recently, with Portuguese emigrants, customs and traditions well known in the Iberian Peninsula and, in particular, in northern Portugal, were consolidated in the Pueblos del Sur.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
Motorcyclist in Sela Gorge, Arunachal Pradesh, India
Guwahati a Saddle Pass, India

A Worldly Journey to the Sacred Canyon of Sela

For 25 hours, we traveled the NH13, one of the highest and most dangerous roads in India. We traveled from the Brahmaputra river basin to the disputed Himalayas of the province of Arunachal Pradesh. In this article, we describe the stretch up to 4170 m of altitude of the Sela Pass that pointed us to the Tibetan Buddhist city of Tawang.
Singapore Asian Capital Food, Basmati Bismi

The Asian Food Capital

There were 4 ethnic groups in Singapore, each with its own culinary tradition. Added to this was the influence of thousands of immigrants and expatriates on an island with half the area of ​​London. It was the nation with the greatest gastronomic diversity in the Orient.
portfolio, Got2Globe, Travel photography, images, best photographs, travel photos, world, Earth
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Portfolio Got2globe

The Best in the World – Got2Globe Portfolio

Colored Nationalism
Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

The Desired City

Many treasures passed through Cartagena before being handed over to the Spanish Crown - more so than the pirates who tried to plunder them. Today, the walls protect a majestic city always ready to "rumbear".
Street Scene, Guadeloupe, Caribbean, Butterfly Effect, French Antilles
Guadalupe, French Antilles

Guadeloupe: a Delicious Caribbean, in a Counter Butterfly-Effect

Guadeloupe is shaped like a moth. A trip around this Antille is enough to understand why the population is governed by the motto Pas Ni Problem and raises the minimum of waves, despite the many setbacks.
Northern Lights, Laponia, Rovaniemi, Finland, Fire Fox
Winter White
Lapland, Finland

In Search of the Fire Fox

Unique to the heights of the Earth are the northern or southern auroras, light phenomena generated by solar explosions. You Sami natives from Lapland they believed it to be a fiery fox that spread sparkles in the sky. Whatever they are, not even the nearly 30 degrees below zero that were felt in the far north of Finland could deter us from admiring them.
Kukenam reward
Mount Roraima, Venezuela

Time Travel to the Lost World of Mount Roraima

Persist on top of Mte. Roraima extraterrestrial scenarios that have withstood millions of years of erosion. Conan Doyle created, in "The Lost World", a fiction inspired by the place but never set foot on it.
PN Timanfaya, Mountains of Fire, Lanzarote, Caldera del Corazoncillo
PN Timanfaya, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

PN Timanfaya and the Fire Mountains of Lanzarote

Between 1730 and 1736, out of nowhere, dozens of volcanoes in Lanzarote erupted successively. The massive amount of lava they released buried several villages and forced almost half of the inhabitants to emigrate. The legacy of this cataclysm is the current Martian setting of the exuberant PN Timanfaya.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
View from John Ford Point, Monument Valley, Nacao Navajo, United States
Natural Parks
Monument Valley, USA

Indians or Cowboys?

Iconic Western filmmakers like John Ford immortalized what is the largest Indian territory in the United States. Today, in the Navajo Nation, the Navajo also live in the shoes of their old enemies.
Ross Bridge, Tasmania, Australia
UNESCO World Heritage
Discovering tassie, Part 3, Tasmania, Australia

Tasmania from Top to Bottom

The favorite victim of Australian anecdotes has long been the Tasmania never lost the pride in the way aussie ruder to be. Tassie remains shrouded in mystery and mysticism in a kind of hindquarters of the antipodes. In this article, we narrate the peculiar route from Hobart, the capital located in the unlikely south of the island to the north coast, the turn to the Australian continent.
female and cub, grizzly footsteps, katmai national park, alaska
PN Katmai, Alaska

In the Footsteps of the Grizzly Man

Timothy Treadwell spent summers on end with the bears of Katmai. Traveling through Alaska, we followed some of its trails, but unlike the species' crazy protector, we never went too far.
Soufrière and Pitons, Saint Luci
Soufriere, Saint Lucia

The Great Pyramids of the Antilles

Perched above a lush coastline, the twin peaks Pitons are the hallmark of Saint Lucia. They have become so iconic that they have a place in the highest notes of East Caribbean Dollars. Right next door, residents of the former capital Soufrière know how precious their sight is.
Young people walk the main street in Chame, Nepal
Annapurna Circuit: 1th - Pokhara a Chame, Nepal

Finally, on the way

After several days of preparation in Pokhara, we left towards the Himalayas. The walking route only starts in Chame, at 2670 meters of altitude, with the snowy peaks of the Annapurna mountain range already in sight. Until then, we complete a painful but necessary road preamble to its subtropical base.
Flam Railway composition below a waterfall, Norway.
On Rails
Nesbyen to Flam, Norway

Flam Railway: Sublime Norway from the First to the Last Station

By road and aboard the Flam Railway, on one of the steepest railway routes in the world, we reach Flam and the entrance to the Sognefjord, the largest, deepest and most revered of the Scandinavian fjords. From the starting point to the last station, this monumental Norway that we have unveiled is confirmed.
Police intervention, ultra-Orthodox Jews, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Israel
Jaffa, Israel

Unorthodox protests

A building in Jaffa, Tel Aviv, threatened to desecrate what ultra-Orthodox Jews thought were remnants of their ancestors. And even the revelation that they were pagan tombs did not deter them from the contestation.
Busy intersection of Tokyo, Japan
Daily life
Tokyo, Japan

The Endless Night of the Rising Sun Capital

Say that Tokyo do not sleep is an understatement. In one of the largest and most sophisticated cities on the face of the Earth, twilight marks only the renewal of the frenetic daily life. And there are millions of souls that either find no place in the sun, or make more sense in the “dark” and obscure turns that follow.
Rhinoceros, PN Kaziranga, Assam, India
PN Kaziranga, India

The Indian Monoceros Stronghold

Situated in the state of Assam, south of the great Brahmaputra river, PN Kaziranga occupies a vast area of ​​alluvial swamp. Two-thirds of the rhinocerus unicornis around the world, there are around 100 tigers, 1200 elephants and many other animals. Pressured by human proximity and the inevitable poaching, this precious park has not been able to protect itself from the hyperbolic floods of the monsoons and from some controversies.
The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.