Evenings with Astronomers
Rob and I have been sponsoring Evenings with Astronomers since 2007 in this distinctly Hawaiian environment for learning about the cosmos. Like many of you, before the lecture series, we were completely in the dark about what was happening at the top of Mauna Kea and decided we wanted astronomers to become part of our island experience instead of thinking of them as exotic strangers. We fund the lectures because it is a creative educational opportunity for members of the community to engage with world class scientists who are clearly at the top of their game.
In addition to learning about what awe inspiring discoveries are taking place at Keck Observatory, we have also come to know what it takes to be the world’s best in this scientific field. Advances in computers, optics, detectors and all around human know how are all being applied to the Keck Observatory telescopes to continuously revitalize their progress and promise to ensure that Keck remains the leading ground-based observatory as measured by the number and impact of scientific papers. New instruments and upgrades have kept Keck Observatory at the forefront of discoveries: brown dwarfs, extra-solar planets, black holes, galaxy evolution, and tonight new views of Mars and our solar system. Unfortunately, new instruments are not cheap. A new instrument typically runs at $10 million and upgrades at several million.
Why I am standing here tonight is to remind you that we are all in this together.
We need every one of you to keep giving to Keck Observatory and to give as much as you can. If you are not an Annual Associate of Keck, we look forward to you becoming one. Together we will keep reaching for the stars and for all the knowledge that is there for us.
Thank you and aloha,