Mauna Kea’s observatories
Big science at the top of Hawaii
ATOP MAUNA KEA, Hawaii – If you count from sea level, we were 13,796 feet up, almost as high as Mount Rainier. Plenty high enough.
But if you count from the ocean floor? My Big Island tour group was shivering in thin air atop the Earth’s highest mountain – 33,500 feet from its waterlogged base to pumice-laden peak.
And that measure seemed the more meaningful, because this place seemed to have far more to do with outer space than with anything terrestrial.
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