If you are someone who is fascinated by the stars or the mysteries of the universe, nothing is ‘older’ than when Four Seasons Lanai opened its Lanai observatory to offer visitors a unique astrotourism experience.
Four Seasons Resort Lanai is a resort hotel located in Lanai City on Lānaʻi, the smallest and least inhabited of Hawaii’s six main islands.
This place just launched the Lanai Observation Deck offers the experience tourist a new planetarium for visitors, residents and students, and it is part of the “Kilo Hoku Experience” part of the resort’s Love Lanai cultural program.
Indigenous people share ike kukuna (ancestral knowledge) about the stars, in addition to guiding visitors through the night sky. In Hawaiian, kilo can mean “observer” or “observer” and hoku can mean “star”.
Lanai is an ideal location for stargazing, with low light levels and atmospheric pollution to facilitate stargazing.
The “Kilo Hoku Experience” begins by sharing how the natives of Hawaii and the Pacific Islands used the stars and natural elements to guide their journey.
It is estimated that the voyage between Hawaii and the South Pacific occurred as early as 400 AD. A highly developed ability to read the night sky helped early Polynesians navigate their way from island to island in the Pacific, and eventually to Hawaii.
Their knowledge of the kalani paa, or heavenly spheres of remains, is very important. Pathfinders use their knowledge of kalani paa to guide their boats across thousands of miles of ocean. The Pacific Ocean acts as a superhighway, bringing cultures together.
After the presentation, guests are guided through the viewing experience using a 40-inch telescope. Visitors can see various celestial bodies including planets, star clusters, galaxies, nebulae, and the moon. The telescope is housed in a two-story dome structure about 25 feet in diameter.
Built by PlaneWave Instruments, the PW1000 is an observatory-class telescope with a direct-drive altitude azimuth mount (Alt-Az) system that is 135 inches high and weighs about 3,000 pounds.
Future plans seek to include programs such as special guest speakers and presentations with Imiloa, the Hawaii Astronomy Center, in addition to educational programs for Lanai students.