‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii

In the Hawaiian language, “imiloa” means “exploring new knowledge.” Ever since the first telescope was placed atop Mauna Kea concerns have been voiced by members of the Hawaiian community that the presence of these observatories mars the sacred mountain. Mauna Kea is of massive significance to the Hawaiian culture. It was for this purpose that the ‘ Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii was built; to help bridge the gap between ancient Hawaiian tradition and belief and astronomy. The three domes that comprise the building are intended to represent the volcanoes Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Hualalai.

Opened in February 2006, the center includes interactive exhibits detailing the origins of the Hawaiian people and the voyages they took to reach the islands. The Polynesians that landed on Hawaii’s shores were some of the earliest astronomers. They used the stars to navigate their long trip across the ocean.

The state of the art 120 seat planetarium features a 22-minute jaw-dropping tour through the origins of the universe in “Mauankea: Between Earth and Sky.” The wealth of information displayed throughout ‘Imiloa could literally take nearly a day to fully explore. Even if you don’t have that much time to spare, we still recommend a trip, especially for families. 

  • ‘Imiloa is open Tuesday through Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • General admission is $19.00, children 5-12 $12.00, and children under 5 are free. As of this writing.
  • Phone number: (808) 969-9700 

‘Imiloa is located at 600 ‘Imiloa Place. The easiest way to get there is to take Route 11 (Kanoelehua Ave.) south out of town and take a right onto Puainako St. Follow Puainako for one and a half miles until you reach Komohana St. Take a right onto to Komohana for a quarter of a mile, turn right onto Nowelo St. The second left is ‘Imiloa Place.

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