It is odd working at a place that everyone wants to visit. To be expected working at the world’s best observatory, after a dozen years the novelty of the situation has never grown old.
I enjoy leading a tour through the building. Doing a tour gives me a chance to vicariously see the facility through my audience’s eyes, seeing this special place afresh, to renew the fascination and wonder.
I think I am a fairly good tour guide, everyone says so, they might be right. Certainly after a decade of tours I have heard most of the questions and have ready and well rehearsed answers.
Inside tours of Keck Observatory are currently only available two ways… Know someone who works at the observatory, or take one of the monthly Kama‘āina Observatory Experience tours offered through ‘Imiloa and supported by all of the Mauna Kea observatories.
The KOE tour is free, but open to Hawaii residents only, you have to have a Hawaii ID to go. Each month the tours visit two observatories, rotating through the various observatories on the summit. The tours are also immensely popular, filling up very quickly.
This coming Saturday the KOE tours will visit the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope and the W. M. Keck Observatory. If you are on one of the morning tours, yes, I will be there, leading a tour through our facility.