I visited the Big Island of Hawaii and was able to take some nice pictures of the tallest mountain in the world Mauna Kea. The mountain is also famous for being a great place to view the stars and many discoveries about our solar system and indeed our galaxy are due to the amazing astronomy facilities there. This is a picture of Mauna Kea, it’s peak towering above the very clouds in the sky. This is a shot of the mountain towering above the rest of the island during our planes approach to the Big Island of Hawaii. The name loosely translated means “the tallest mountain” in the Hawaiian language. I took these pictures as my plane approached the island from the south and I want share these pictures and some information.
Mauna Kea is actually an active volcano. The last eruption was about 4500 years ago. While Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world at over 10,000 meters, Mount Everest is the mountain with the highest altitude. I should explain that the base of Mauna Kea is actually on the Pacific Ocean floor. From the base to the peak it’s the tallest mountain in the world, but in terms of “altitude” which is measured from sea level to the mountain peak the mountain with the highest altitude is Mount Everest.
The peak of Mauna Kea is thought to be the best place on our planet to view our solar system and beyond because of the height of the mountain, it’s closeness to the equator and because it’s in a remote part of the Pacific Ocean where there’s no “light pollution” a term meaning light from nearby towns and cities that make it hard to view stars.
Picture Source Shortsegments
This is another picture of the peak and you can make out Mauna Kea and another smaller mountain to the right called Moana Loa. That roughly means “long mountain” in the Hawaiian language.
This picture also shows the telescopes or observatories on the top of the mountain. The observatories attract astronomers from around the world to view our solar system from the top of Mauna Kea. These observatories are called “the eyes of humanity”because the data collected there about our solar system and galaxy is shared throughout the world, and has been used for hundreds of discoveries about our solar system and our galaxy.
I enlarged certain portions of the pictures I took with a 10x zoom lens. I lost some sharpness with that magnification, so I used special filters on these pictures to change the colors, so the telescopes were easier to see.
Regular pictures of the mountain peak above the clouds with observatories present, but dwarfed by the mountain.
Air approach of Mauna Kea on right and Mauna Loa on far left.
Picture Source Shortsegments
The below photo is a professional photographers photo of the two biggest telescopes on Mauna Kea, at the Keck Observatory.👇⤵️
The pictures below are from Getty Images, now public domain, but I still wish to credited the site.
This shows the Moon like or “other world” appearance of the top of Mauna Kea with snow covered volcanic cinder cones and the silver buildings are astronomy observatories.
This is a close up of an observatory.
This is a close up of a snow covered cinder cone, and observatories in the background.
The mountains of Hawaii are another beautiful part of this island paradise. Which is not just a tourism mecca, but also a great source of astronomy knowledge of for the entire world. The Hawaiians used the stars to navigate the Pacific Ocean without modern instruments and travelled thousands of miles across the oceans guided only by the stars. So perhaps it is poetic karma that the astronomy observatories on top of the tallest Hawaiian Mountain Mauna Kea now assist mankind in our attempts to navigate between the stars as we voyage across our solar system and send machines out to explore our galaxy.
✍🏼 written by Shortsegments
All pictures were taken by me, except the one credited to the photographer with a citation below it.
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The tallest mountain in the world and our eye to the galaxy, Mauna Kea Mountain, Hawaii