A Sky Wonderful with Stars: 50 Years of Modern Astronomy on Maunakea
216pp. July 2015
A Sky Wonderful with Stars: 50 Years of Modern Astronomy on Maunakea
Author: West, Michael J.;
A Sky Wonderful with Stars: 50 Years of Modern Astronomy on Maunakea tells the fascinating story of how a remote mountaintop in the middle of the Pacific Ocean became home to the most powerful collection of telescopes in the world. It is a tale of triumphs, failures, and the indomitable human spirit of exploration. Over 160 superb photographs accompanied by astronomer Michael J. West’s engaging commentary bring the past and present to life and showcase the many remarkable discoveries made by the observatories atop Maunakea.

Breathtaking photo-essays throughout the book reveal
• Maunakea’s spectacular landscape and the unique geographical conditions that make it the world’s premier site for astronomical exploration;
• the construction and development of the Maunakea observatories;
• highlights of scientific discoveries made with each of the thirteen telescopes;
• the faces and places that make up Maunakea’s diverse astronomical community; and
• a look toward the future of astronomy on Maunakea, including the planned Thirty Meter Telescope.

This visually stunning book shares with a larger audience the wondrous views of the heavens that the observatories provide. It will appeal not only to those with an interest in astronomy, but to anyone who marvels at the grand splendor of our universe.

A Latitude 20 Book
"Photos taken through the telescopes show an eternally eventful universe: the birth, death and colorful silence of stars; the Horsehead Nebula swathed in crimson; sleek Saturn, stormy Jupiter and their moons. While astronomers will be stirred by the observatories, the shots of open mountain and sky, with West’s lyrical descriptions, will fill any reader with wonder and joy." —Honolulu Star-Advertiser

"Michael West brings his considerable experience working at major international observatories and his own perspective as a former university professor on the Big Island to this beautifully illustrated, yet sensitively written, portrait of Maunakea—a unique and revered location for studying our wondrous universe. He charts the growth of astronomy in Hawai'i from the time of ancients to the modern era and captures the wide variety of remarkable discoveries made with its telescopes. A magnificent accomplishment." —Richard Ellis, California Institute of Technology

"The top of Maunakea is the best site in the Northern Hemisphere from which to study the Universe and mankind's place in it. It hosts a powerful collection of astronomical observatories, many of which were built and are operated by international partnerships. In this book Michael West provides a visual chronicle of half a century of development of Maunakea's telescopes. It includes brief descriptions of all the telescopes and conveys the stunning beauty of the site and of the wonders of the night sky with full respect for what Nature has placed at this special place on our planet." —Tim de Zeeuw, Director General of the European Southern Observatory

Author: West, Michael J.;
Michael J. West is deputy director for science at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. A frequent user of the telescopes on Maunakea, he is also the author of A Gentle Rain of Starlight: The Story of Astronomy on Mauna Kea (2005).