Announcements

Subaru Earthquake Update

October 20, 2006

Dr. Masahiko Hayashi, Director of Subaru Telescope
October 20, 2006 1PM HST

Thank you for all your expressions of concern and encouragement.

Summary:
Subaru Telescope will carry out detailed analyses of the impact of the earthquakes and careful repair work until the end of October. This is to ensure that the telescope can resume operating at its top performance level. Science observations and public tours of the telescope will be halted during this time.

The Earthquakes:
On October 15, 2006, earthquakes of magnitudes 6.7 and 6.0 occurred off shore of the island of Hawaii at 7:07AM and 7:14AM, respectively.

The East side of the island of Hawaii, where Subaru Telescopes' base facility is located and the majority of its staff live, the earthquakes had only a minor impact, with little damage to buildings, roads, or people.

The summit of Mauna Kea, closer to the epicenter of the earthquakes, experienced significant shaking. The operations of most observatories on Mauna Kea were affected.

The Impact on Subaru:
Subaru staff began assessing the impact of the earthquakes immediately. Inspection over the past several days has shown that there is no large visible damage to the telescope or to the telescope enclosure. All observing instruments appear to have avoided irreparable damage.

However, inspections also revealed that the telescope needs further work before it can point and track astronomical objects as well as it did before the earthquakes.

To ensure that the Subaru telescope can continue to operate at its top performance level, the observatory has decided to halt normal operations until the end of October. This will allow a detailed investigation of the earthquakes' impact and careful repair. Regular observations will resume when precision movement has been restored to the telescope and all observational instruments have been tested on the telescope.

Public Tours:
All public tours of the telescope are cancelled until at least the end of October. We apologize for the disappointment and trouble this may cause, and ask for your understanding.

Updates:
Updates on the telescope and instruments status will be posted on our website:
http://www.naoj.org/index.html




For further details please contact:

・Dr. Tetsuharu Fuse, Public Information, Subaru Telescope
1-808-934-5922 (Office)
Web Inquiry Form



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