Twin Keck Telescopes at sunset

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© 2007 Laurie Hatch, image and text
– Keck Observatory
– Mauna Kea Summit
2007 Feb 3

– Premier among the world’s largest telescopes, the twin Keck 10-meter mirrors are each comprised of 36 hexagonal mirror segments placed edge-to-edge to form a continuous reflecting surface of 76 square meters. They collect light from celestial objects unimaginably far away. In this photograph the telescopes are seen through open dome shutters just after sunset, as astronomers and technicians prepare for the night’s observing. Fortunately, winds on the summit have diminished to a mere 40 mph; during the previous evening wind gusts were clocked at 120 mph, and observatories on the Mauna Kea summit were closed through the night. Astronomers are more hopeful this evening.

– The photographer thanks the astronomers and Keck and VIS staffs for their invaluable assistance in producing this photograph.

– A View from Mauna Kea, Sacred Mountain of Hawai`i

– Mauna Kea holds profound religious and cultural significance for Native Hawaiians. It embodies their divine ancestral origins and connection to Creation. At 13,796 feet / 4,205 meters in elevation on the Island of Hawai`i,
it last erupted about 4400 years ago. The now-dormant volcano is only 120 feet higher than its active neighbor Mauna Loa 27 miles to the south. Seen from below and framed by palm trees and azure waters, the snow-cloaked summit of Mauna Kea inspires awe and veneration—its Hawaiian name means “White Mountain”. The star-filled sky above offers unsurpassed clarity for some of the world’s most advanced telescopes as they unravel mysteries of the universe. Upon its flanks are hallowed Hawaiian sites, ancient paths, rare plants and animals, and a unique and fragile ecosystem. Please walk gently and respectfully on Mauna O Wakea, the Sacred Mountain of Hawai`i.

– Exposure data:
Nikon D2x
Nikkor 18-200 DX f/3.5-f5.6 zoom lens
ISO digital: 100 / f/5.3
Exposure: 1/8 second

– For more information:,,

`Imiloa: Astronomy Center of Hawai`i,
Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station,,

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