The community spent the night under the stars at Our Kaka‘ako during the ‘Ohana Stargazing event on Saturday, May 28, presented in partnership with ʻOhana Kilo Hōkū and Stargazers of Hawaii. At sunset, everyone was welcomed with an ‘oli and treated to traditional mo‘olelo (stories) of the sun and stars, setting the stage for the night’s activities.
After dusk, guests toured the constellations through telescopes on the parking garage rooftop to learn about the Hawaiian star line and view Arcturus and Spica. These two bright stars named the legendary canoes Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia, which participated in the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage. By learning about the sky atlas, curious space explorers of all ages gained a deeper appreciation for traditional Polynesian wayfinding.
In The Barn, muralist Chris Miyashiro painted a star compass while former Hōkūle‘a navigator Austin Kino shared how the compass is a mental construct that uses the rise and setting of stars to orient navigators at sea. Guests put the star compass to action by wearing VR goggles that simulated wayfinding on open water.
Young explorers marveled at LEGO® models of NASA shuttles and crafts while ambitiously designing their own colorful space creations. By rolling marbles across a simulated gravity well, kids excitedly discovered how a planet’s mass affects the surrounding pull of gravity to create orbits. A spread of metallic pipe cleaners, beads, and colored paper was also available for keiki to craft shiny, festive star lei for the evening.
The hands-on spectra activity included colored lights, prisms, and special lenses to explain how astronomers use starlight to create the deep sky atlas and understand the universe. Guests could then walk through a scaled model of the solar system while hearing the ethereal “sounds of space.” NASA used sonification to convert visual data from several telescopes, producing twinkling pitches of our Milky Way galaxy. Listen to the track here.
Mahalo nui to our partners, ‘Ohana Kilo Hōkū and Stargazers of Hawaii, for sharing our passion for education and bringing the community together for a night under the stars! Knowing there are so many enthusiastic stargazers in our community, we’re already looking forward to our next ‘Ohana Stargazing event. Follow us on social media @ourkakaako and @KakaakoNews to get the latest news!
This free event was sponsored in part by the Kaiāulu ‘o Kaka‘ako Owners Association.