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, Australia: 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

Maui: The Divine Hawaii That Succumbed to Fire

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.
Jabula Beach, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Saint Lucia, South Africa

An Africa as Wild as Zulu

On the eminence of the coast of Mozambique, the province of KwaZulu-Natal is home to an unexpected South Africa. Deserted beaches full of dunes, vast estuarine swamps and hills covered with fog fill this wild land also bathed by the Indian Ocean. It is shared by the subjects of the always proud Zulu nation and one of the most prolific and diverse fauna on the African continent.
Hikers on the Ice Lake Trail, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 7th - Braga - Ice Lake, Nepal

Annapurna Circuit – The Painful Acclimatization of the Ice Lake

On the way up to the Ghyaru village, we had a first and unexpected show of how ecstatic the Annapurna Circuit can be tasted. Nine kilometers later, in Braga, due to the need to acclimatize, we climbed from 3.470m from Braga to 4.600m from Lake Kicho Tal. We only felt some expected tiredness and the increase in the wonder of the Annapurna Mountains.
Visitors in Jameos del Água, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
Architecture & Design
Lanzarote, Canary Islands

To César Manrique what is César Manrique's

By itself, Lanzarote would always be a Canaria by itself, but it is almost impossible to explore it without discovering the restless and activist genius of one of its prodigal sons. César Manrique passed away nearly thirty years ago. The prolific work he left shines on the lava of the volcanic island that saw him born.
Boat Trips

For Those Becoming Internet Sick

Hop on and let yourself go on unmissable boat trips like the Philippine archipelago of Bacuit and the frozen sea of ​​the Finnish Gulf of Bothnia.
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.
Luderitz, Namibia
Lüderitz, Namibia

Wilkommen in Africa

Chancellor Bismarck has always disdained overseas possessions. Against his will and all odds, in the middle of the Race for Africa, merchant Adolf Lüderitz forced Germany to take over an inhospitable corner of the continent. The homonymous city prospered and preserves one of the most eccentric heritages of the Germanic empire.
Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

The Fish Market That Lost its Freshness

In a year, each Japanese eats more than their weight in fish and shellfish. Since 1935, a considerable part was processed and sold in the largest fish market in the world. Tsukiji was terminated in October 2018, and replaced by Toyosu's.
Correspondence verification
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

Fed up with waiting for the bearded old man to descend down the chimney, we reverse the story. We took advantage of a trip to Finnish Lapland and passed through its furtive home.
Spectator, Melbourne Cricket Ground-Rules footbal, Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne, Australia

The Football the Australians Rule

Although played since 1841, Australian Football has only conquered part of the big island. Internationalization has never gone beyond paper, held back by competition from rugby and classical football.
Navimag Cruise, Puerto Montt to Puerto-natales, Chile
Puerto Natales-Puerto Montt, Chile

Cruise on board a Freighter

After a long begging of backpackers, the Chilean company NAVIMAG decided to admit them on board. Since then, many travelers have explored the Patagonian canals, side by side with containers and livestock.
North Island, New Zealand, Maori, Surfing time
North Island, New Zealand

Journey along the Path of Maority

New Zealand is one of the countries where the descendants of settlers and natives most respect each other. As we explored its northern island, we became aware of the interethnic maturation of this very old nation. Commonwealth as Maori and Polynesia.
ice tunnel, black gold route, Valdez, Alaska, USA
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
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Sensations vs Impressions

Torshavn, Faroe Islands, rowing
Tórshavn, Faroe Islands

Thor's Faroese Port

It has been the main settlement in the Faroe Islands since at least 850 AD, the year in which Viking settlers established a parliament there. Tórshavn remains one of the smallest capitals in Europe and the divine shelter of about a third of the Faroese population.
Ribeira Grande, Santo Antao
Ribeira Grande, Santo AntãoCape Verde

Santo Antão, Up the Ribeira Grande

Originally a tiny village, Ribeira Grande followed the course of its history. It became the village, later the city. It has become an eccentric and unavoidable junction on the island of Santo Antão.
ala juumajarvi lake, oulanka national park, finland
Winter White
Kuusamo ao PN Oulanka, Finland

Under the Arctic's Icy Spell

We are at 66º North and at the gates of Lapland. In these parts, the white landscape belongs to everyone and to no one like the snow-covered trees, the atrocious cold and the endless night.
Couple visiting Mikhaylovskoe, village where writer Alexander Pushkin had a home
Saint Petersburg e Mikhaylovkoe, Russia

The Writer Who Succumbed to His Own Plot

Alexander Pushkin is hailed by many as the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. But Pushkin also dictated an almost tragicomic epilogue to his prolific life.
Teide Volcano, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
Tenerife, Canary Islands

The Volcano that Haunts the Atlantic

At 3718m, El Teide is the roof of the Canaries and Spain. Not only. If measured from the ocean floor (7500 m), only two mountains are more pronounced. The Guanche natives considered it the home of Guayota, their devil. Anyone traveling to Tenerife knows that old Teide is everywhere.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Argentinean flag on the Perito Moreno-Argentina lake-glacier
Natural Parks
Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina

The Resisting Glacier

Warming is supposedly global, but not everywhere. In Patagonia, some rivers of ice resist. From time to time, the advance of the Perito Moreno causes landslides that bring Argentina to a halt.
Guest, Michaelmas Cay, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
UNESCO World Heritage
Michaelmas Cay, Australia

Miles from Christmas (Part XNUMX)

In Australia, we live the most uncharacteristic of the 24th of December. We set sail for the Coral Sea and disembark on an idyllic islet that we share with orange-billed terns and other birds.
Ooty, Tamil Nadu, Bollywood Scenery, Heartthrob's Eye
Ooty, India

In Bollywood's Nearly Ideal Setting

The conflict with Pakistan and the threat of terrorism made filming in Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh a drama. In Ooty, we see how this former British colonial station took the lead.
La Digue, Seychelles, Anse d'Argent
La Digue, Seychelles

Monumental Tropical Granite

Beaches hidden by lush jungle, made of coral sand washed by a turquoise-emerald sea are anything but rare in the Indian Ocean. La Digue recreated itself. Around its coastline, massive boulders sprout that erosion has carved as an eccentric and solid tribute of time to the Nature.
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.
Train Kuranda train, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
On Rails
Cairns-Kuranda, Australia

Train to the Middle of the Jungle

Built out of Cairns to save miners isolated in the rainforest from starvation by flooding, the Kuranda Railway eventually became the livelihood of hundreds of alternative Aussies.

Defenders of Their Homelands

Even in times of peace, we detect military personnel everywhere. On duty, in cities, they fulfill routine missions that require rigor and patience.
Fruit sellers, Swarm, Mozambique
Daily life
Enxame Mozambique

Mozambican Fashion Service Area

It is repeated at almost all stops in towns of Mozambique worthy of appearing on maps. The machimbombo (bus) stops and is surrounded by a crowd of eager "businessmen". The products offered can be universal such as water or biscuits or typical of the area. In this region, a few kilometers from Nampula, fruit sales suceeded, in each and every case, quite intense.
Maria Jacarés, Pantanal Brazil
Miranda, Brazil

Maria dos Jacarés: the Pantanal shelters such Creatures

Eurides Fátima de Barros was born in the interior of the Miranda region. 38 years ago, he settled in a small business on the side of BR262 that crosses the Pantanal and gained an affinity with the alligators that lived on his doorstep. Disgusted that once upon a time the creatures were being slaughtered there, she began to take care of them. Now known as Maria dos Jacarés, she named each of the animals after a soccer player or coach. It also makes sure they recognize your calls.
Full Dog Mushing
Scenic Flights
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.