Media Coverage at Subaru Telescope


When you want to take photos or videos of Subaru Telescope's facilities or conduct interviews with its staff, please submit the appropriate paperwork and coordinate your plans with the Press Officer at Subaru Telescope according to the following guidelines:

  1. The Public Information and Outreach (PIO) Office at Subaru Telescope supports media activities at the following locations and times:
    1. Locations:For photos and videos, Subaru Telescope on theMauna Kea summit and/or at its base facility in Hilo. We can also arrange staff interviews at other locations (such as 'Imiloa Astronomy Center, with their permission).
    2. Schedule:Weekdays except during local, state, or federal holidays, between 10:30 am and 3:30 pm.
  2. Begin the permit process at least 4 weeks prior to the preferred date of the filming. Subaru Telescope on Mauna Kea is located inside a special science reserve area controlled by the University of Hawaii and leased from the State of Hawaii. For media activities on the mountain, it is necessary to obtain permits and make arrangements with entities in addition to Subaru Telescope.
  3. The "Application for Filming of the Subaru Telescope" form can be sent to the Public Information and Outreach Office of the Subaru Telescope by fax at +1-808-934-5984 or by mail to the address shown in the next section. If you have any questions concerning the filming or interviewing, send an inquiry note by fax or use this form.

Application Forms

Summary of the forms needed for coverage at different locations

  Base Subaru Telescope Summit general
1. Permit from Subaru Yes Yes Yes
2. Permit from the State of Hawaii No Yes Yes
3. Liability Insurance (as part of 2. Permit from the State of Hawaii) No Yes Yes
4. Subaru staff escort Yes Yes No
5. Mauna Kea ranger No No Yes
6. Own transportation 2WD 4WD 4WD
7. Understandings the risks of high altitude conditions N/A Yes Yes
8. Understanding safe driving on the mountain N/A Yes Yes
9. Understanding/awareness of the cultural and the environmental sensitivity Yes Yes Yes
(left vacant for future addition)      

  1. For taking photos/videos or interviewing at Subaru Telescope, please fill out the form (MS-Word or PDF) and send it to Subaru Telescope, Attn. Public Information and Outreach Office.
    Mail: 650 North A'ohoku Place, Hilo
    Hawaii 96720, U.S.A.

  2. Hawaii Film Office, State of Hawaii
    Send these forms (MS-Word pages 1-2 plus page 3 | PDF pages 1-2 plus page 3) to the Hawaii Film Office as soon as possible (FAX +1-808-586-2572). Make a note if you plan to include filming at mid level facilities such as the Visitior Information Station (VIS) or Hale Pohaku (HP). The Hawaii Film Office or the Office of Mauna Kea Management (OMKM) will nofity you when your application is approved. Communicate with them if there is any change in the filming schedule/location and so forth by faxing this form (MS Word | PDF).

    In case other observatories might come into view while taking footage outside, you need to request their permission during the planning stage. A sample letter is provided here (in PDF) for your convenience.

  3. Liability Insurance
    You need to have liability insurance when you take photos or videos for commercial purposes at the summit of Mauna Kea. The University of Hawaii as well as the Subaru Telescope and its parent organization National Astronomical Observatory of Japan must be in the list of the insured. The Hawaii Film Office specifies that the Certificate of Insurance must cover $1 million in general liability and name the State of Hawaii as an additional insured.


General Information

  1. If you plan to interview staff at Subaru Telescope, please consider interviewing them at locations where most of them work:
    • Base facility: administrative, technical, engineering, computer, outreach, and science staff. Astronomers work primarily at night, either at the base or at the summit.
    • Summit facility: day crews, but not the night crews.

  2. Base facility (Hilo Office): The base facility is in Hilo in the eastern side of the Island of Hawaii. It takes about 20 minutes from the Hilo International Airport to the base facility (Access to the Base Facility in Hilo).

  3. Subaru Telescope: The Subaru Telescope is an 8.2m optical-infrared telescope at the 4200-m summit of Mauna Kea. It takes about two hours to travel from the base facility to the Subaru Telescope at the summit of Mauna Kea. A four-wheel drive vehicle is mandatory for driving to the summit. Please finish filming activities before sunset because the telescopes at the summit start to observe. The specifications of the telescope are summarized in "Specifications of the Subaru Telescope."

  4. List of Mauna Kea observatories (Office of Mauna Kea Management)
    List at IfA website
    Telescope coordinates at IfA website
  5. Map of Mauna Kea observatories (Institute for Astronomy at University of Hawaii)
    Map at IfA website

  6. Map of Hilo
    MS-Word 2000 / PDF



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