Mauna Kea


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Mauna Kea

(mou`nə kā`ə), dormant volcano, 13,796 ft (4,205 m) high, in the south central part of the island of Hawaii. It is the loftiest peak in the Hawaiian Islands and the highest island mountain in the world, rising c.32,000 ft (9,750 m) from the Pacific Ocean floor. It has many cinder cones on its flanks and a great crater at the summit. Its fertile lower slopes are used for agriculture, especially the growing of coffee beans; the upper slopes are snow-covered in winter. At the peak of Mauna Kea, where the dry air is ideal for optical and infrared astronomical observations, is the site of the Mauna Kea ObservatoriesMauna Kea Observatories
, astronomical observatory complex located on Mauna Kea peak, the "white mountain" on the island of Hawaii, at an altitude of more than 13,600 ft (4,145 m).
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. The mountain is surrounded by the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve; the Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve is on the southern slopes.

Mauna Kea

(mow -nah kay -ah) A dormant volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii whose high-altitude summit (4200 meters, 13 800 ft) lies above almost half of the Earth's atmosphere. Conditions at the summit for astronomical observations, especially at infrared and submillimeter wavelengths, are extremely good. It is therefore the site of several major telescopes, administered overall as the Mauna Kea Observatory (MKO) by the University of Hawaii. The first telescope to be installed, 1968, was a 0.6-meter reflector of the University of Hawaii, followed two years later by a 2.2-meter instrument for the same institution. In 1979 three major telescopes for optical and infrared observations were inaugurated: the 3.8-meter UK Infrared Telescope (UKIRT), the 3.6-meter Canada–France–Hawaii Telescope (CFHT), used for optical and infrared studies, and the 3.0-meter Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF), operated by NASA. There are also two major telescopes for submillimeter work: the 15-meter James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) and the 10.4-meter Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO), which began operations in 1986 and 1990 respectively. The US-Taiwanese 8 × 6-meter Submillimeter Array began operations in 2002. Mauna Kea also has a 25-meter radio telescope, which is one of the ten antenna sites for the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA).

Mauna Kea is the site of several new-generation telescopes. The two huge 10-meter Keck Telescopes, Keck I and Keck II, are part of the W.M. Keck Observatory. Additional projects include one of the two 8-meter Gemini telescopes and the 8.3-meter Subaru Telescope.

Mauna Kea

 

(Hawaiian literally “white mountain”), an extinct shield volcano on the island of Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean. Elevation, 4,205 m (the highest in Polynesia). It is composed of olivine-basaltic and andesitic lavas. The upper steep parts of the slopes have numerous parasitic cones. The crater has not been preserved, and the flat summit is almost always covered by snow (hence the name). The windward northern and northeastern slopes are covered with tropical rain forests, which are now greatly reduced. The leeward slopes are covered by savannas. There are plantations of tropical crops such as pineapples, sugarcane, bananas, and coffee trees.

Mauna Kea

an extinct volcano in Hawaii, on N central Hawaii Island: the highest island mountain in the world. Height: 4206 m (13 799 ft.)
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