A mangy, wind-battered tree at the base of Mauna Kea.

Matt uptop Mauna Kea with observatories in the background.

Matt uptop Mauna Kea. You can see Mauna Loa in the background.

Matt uptop Mauna Kea. You can see Mauna Loa in the background.

Matt uptop Mauna Kea with observatories in the background.

Matt and Satomi with observatories in background.

Matt and Satomi uptop Mauna Kea.

Keck II observatory.

Keck I observatory.

Various telescope observatories uptop Mauna Kea.

Keck I observatory.

Poster about adaptive optics for telescopes.

One of the observatories uptop Mauna Kea.

Various telescope observatories uptop Mauna Kea.

Reminds me of when I lived on Mars....

Satomi's watch is amazing. It can tell the altitude. The altitude reads 3925m. The correct altitude is 4205m. This is 13,796 feet.

From left to right: Keck I, Matt, Keck II.

One of the observatories uptop Mauna Kea.

Keck I & II observatories.

Keck I & II in the background. The guidebook we were using looks strikingly familiar....

Observatories in the side view mirror.

The gnarly road to the top of Mauna Kea.

Inside the Keck I observatory.

The signs uptop Mauna Kea have holes in them so the high winds do not blow them over.

Mauna Loa as viewed from Mauna Kea.

Kind of looks like Mars...

Mauna Loa as viewed from Mauna Kea.

Mauna Loa as viewed from Mauna Kea.

Mauna Loa as viewed from Mauna Kea.

Apparently, water is trucked up to the facilities, so conserving water is a priority.

The Sun viewed through a Celestron telescope.

A celestron telescope.

A celestron telescope.

Various telescope observatories uptop Mauna Kea.

A celestron telescope.

A celestron telescope.

A celestron telescope.

A celestron telescope. This piece keeps track of the movements of the Earth, Sun and Moon and keeps the telescope lined up with the object you are viewing.

Mauna Kea hazards at the base lodge. The warning says something about altitude sickness--just ignore the sign and go to the top.

The base lodge on Mauna Kea has stargazing hours. You can't view the stars through the large observatories at the very top, but there are a few celestrong telescopes that are set up between the hours of 6pm and 10pm for public use.

The two different types of lava.

The desert terrain at the base of Mauna Kea.

The desert terrain at the base of Mauna Kea.

A Coast Guard Anuenue microwave site.

Matt outside the Keck I telescope observatory.

The desert terrain at the base of Mauna Kea.

Matt outside the Keck I telescope observatory.

Matt outside the Keck I telescope observatory.

Matt uptop Mauna Kea with observatories in the background.

Matt uptop Mauna Kea with observatories in the background.