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Google Earth Plug-in: Mauna Kea observatory, Hawai

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The Mauna Kea Observatory is one of the world's premier astronomical research facilities located on Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawai'i, USA. Founded in 1967, the Mauna Kea Observatory is part of the University of Hawai'i System and consists of various multi-national astronomical instruments. Located on a dormant volcano, the facilities are at an altitude of 13,796 feet (4205 meters) above sea level. The altitude and isolation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean allows for unobstructed views of space without the interference of man-made light sources. The seeing statistics show that Mauna Kea is the second best location for optical and infrared astronomy after Dome C, Antarctica.

Dormitories and a cafeteria are located below the summit at 9300 feet (2835 meters) above sea level, and a visitor information station is located at 9200 feet (2775 meters). The Mauna Kea Observatory is so high, scientists and other visitors are required to stay at the lower level for a day to acclimate to atmospheric conditions before reaching the summit.

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