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November 2, 2014 / Retirementallychallenged.com

Greetings From the Top of the World

Mauna Kea, one of the five volcanos that form the island of Hawaii, stands 13,796 feet above sea level. From its base, which in 17,000 feet below sea level, to its peak, Mauna Kea rises over 30,000 feet – more than twice the height of Mount Everest.

The volcano’s last eruption occurred over 4600 years ago. It is currently dormant but scientists expect there is another eruption in its future. Although all of us will be long gone when this happens (it could be tens of thousands of years from now) it should be quite a show!

Because of Mauna Kea’s high altitude, dry climate, and stable airflow, its summit is home to over a dozen telescopes. It is considered one of the best locations in the world for astronomical observation.

Other than from an airplane, we don’t usually get to observe clouds from above. The view from the summit of Mauna Kea is incredible – the vista, the clouds, the sunset, and then the amazing night sky filled with stars – and I will always be grateful to have had the opportunity to see it for myself.

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7 Comments

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  1. katecrimmins / Nov 2 2014 11:41 am

    I saw Kilauea during the 70s. Nothing was going on but the lava damage was incredible. The islands are so fascinating. The climate, while mild, is different from island to island. The history of the people is interesting too. People got there by outriggers over thousands of miles. (I get seasick just thinking about it.) I don’t think they had the viewing area open when we were there or we just missed it. Awesome!

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Nov 2 2014 12:04 pm

      The current lava flow from the Kilauea volcano is now threatening the beautiful little town of Pahoa. So odd how the lava stops and starts… the citizens aren’t quite sure what to do – stay put or evacuate? Fortunately, unlike with most other natural disasters (fires, earthquakes, floods), they will have plenty of warning…

      My friend’s home (where we are staying) isn’t anywhere near its path. We’ll be safe for another several thousand years.

      • katecrimmins / Nov 2 2014 12:57 pm

        You have a friend that lives in Hawaii????? *serious bout of jealousy occurring*

  2. Polly / Nov 2 2014 12:49 pm

    Incredible sight.
    You are having a wonderful time!

  3. Shelley / Nov 2 2014 1:34 pm

    My husband was a professional astronomer for a number of years. I’m sending him a link to your blog. Great photos!

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Nov 2 2014 11:25 pm

      He would love to see Mauna Kea! There are almost two dozen telescopes from different countries and companies around the world. It was truly an amazing sight!

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