Welcome to the Subaru Telescope
The Subaru Observatory is located at the peak of Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. Take a tour of the observatory with Space.com contributor Nola Taylor Redd. Here: The observatory in all its glory at sunset.
The Road There
Here, a view looking down the mountain from the visitor's center, about halfway to the peak.
The View from the Halfway Point
Looking up the mountain from halfway up, at the Mauna Kea Visitor Center.
A Mars-like Realm
As we ascended, plants became sparse and the landscape resembled Mars.
The dirt from the top of the mountain — red, rocky, with no vegetation in sight.
The Smithsonian Submillimeter Array is located next to Subaru. The round metal bases are places that each antennae can be moved to.
The Danger Room
The mirror recoating room, immediately seen on entering the observatory, is dangerous in its own right.
The large hole through which the primary mirror descends on a cradle every 2 two to 3 three years to allow the aluminum coating to be re-applied.
Telescope, Meet Writer
Nola Taylor Redd next to the Subaru telescope.
Sprinklers on an X-shaped array help with the recoating of the aluminum on the primary and secondary mirrors.
The enormous cradle that carries the primary mirror through the floor to be recoated.
Get the Space.com Newsletter
Breaking space news, the latest updates on rocket launches, skywatching events and more!
Nola Taylor Tillman is a contributing writer for Space.com. She loves all things space and astronomy-related, and enjoys the opportunity to learn more. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English and Astrophysics from Agnes Scott college and served as an intern at Sky & Telescope magazine. In her free time, she homeschools her four children. Follow her on Twitter at @NolaTRedd