Mauna Kea, Hawaii

Mauna Kea Observatory
Panorama showing the observatory on the top of Mauna Kea
  Credit: Gemini

The summit of Mauna Kea (White Mountain), an extinct volcano on the island of Hawaii, has been used for observing the heavens since ancient times, and is one of the the best astronomical observatories in the world. It is home to over a dozen world-class telescopes operated by astronomers from 11 different countries, including the UK.



The summit is above 40% of Earth's atmosphere and 90% of the water vapour, allowing for exceptionally clear images of the night sky. The following are the three best telescopes on the mountain:

Gemini North Telescope
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Subaru Telescope
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Keck Telescopes
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