Protection of Mauna Kea and Haleakala Observatories from Light Pollution

  • Richard J. Wainscoat
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 284)


The observatories atop Mauna Kea are protected from light pollution by a lighting ordinance that covers the entire island of Hawaii. This has enabled Mauna Kea to be preserved as a very dark site for astronomy. However, some weaknesses in the ordinance have become evident, and these are discussed. Mercury lines have been detected in very deep spectra from the Keck telescopes; enforcement of the lighting ordinance has been lax, and observatory staff has been forced to start investigating non-compliant light sources. A new lighting ordinance is being considered for the island of Hawaii; a lighting ordinance to protect Haleakala Observatory is presently being discussed by the Maui County Council. More distant Oahu, where Honolulu and the bulk of the population of the state of Hawaii is located, has poorly shielded lighting. Efforts are underway to organize a Hawaii chapter of the International Dark-Sky Association to provide broad-based support for the protection of the skies above Mauna Kea and Haleakala Observatories, and to improve the sky above Honolulu.

Key words

lighting ordinance Hawai’I Maui Keck telescope 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard J. Wainscoat
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for AstronomyUniversity of HawaiiHonoluluUSA

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