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Observatory | by joey_e
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Observatory

Most people relate Hawai'i to tropical weather and beaches but the Mauna Kea summit at an elevation of nearly 14k feet and usually well beyond the cloud line is a place in Hawaii with snow accumulation (although not a lot during my January visit). The lower part of the mountain is submerged under sea level giving it a total height of 33k feet making it significantly taller than Mount Everest. With a clear view of the sky, also located here is the world's largest observatory for optical, infrared, and submillimeter astronomy. At this altitude, atmospheric pressure and oxygen saturation are low which made me a little disoriented (it felt like being tipsy from a few shots of alcohol ;-). Those who are pregnant, children under 16 and anyone with respiratory and cardiac conditions are advised to go up only as high as 9k feet.

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Taken on January 27, 2012