Thursday, March 5, 2009

Hawaii - Day eight

Tuesday, November 4

A day that involves air travel is mainly just that…a day for travel only. We were up at 6:30, and on the way to the Kahului Airport by 7:00 a.m. Soon we were high above the ocean, heading toward the morning sun, and landed uneventfully at the Hilo airport. We picked up our rental car, and headed into town for a visit with Jane’s friend from the 60’s in Okinawa.

A little before noon we headed across town to the ‘Imiloa Science Center, an interesting place that has the unusual dual focus of astronomy and Hawaiian culture.

Our friend Shawn Laatch is in charge of the planetarium there, and after the public show was over took us in to show off the new all-digital SkyScan 3D computer/projector system. The images were crisp as he flew around the solar system with a joystick, zooming in for close- up looks at planets and moons, eclipses of the sun, then at hyper warp-speed out past local star clusters, out of the galactic plane, then ever faster past myriad galaxies to the edges of the known universe.

Remember this was all in incredibly realistic three-dimensional projection, viewed through special glasses.

Shawn told us that astronomers whose specialty is the structure of the universe were amazed and delighted at the visualization of complex concepts this makes possible.

In the evening we rode with Shawn to a little Italian restaurant where he eats often. His wife Kim, a psychologist, met us there, and we had an excellent dinner along with a couple of bottles of fine wine that Shawn had brought with him.

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad that you finally were able to get your Hawaii adventure on here for all of us to enjoy. Nice pics!