Mauna Kea (see bookmark p.272) plays host to the largest astronomical observatory in the world. There are currently 13 telescopes operating near the summit, each managed independently but operated by scientists from eleven countries. Mauna Kea offers close to ideal operational conditions for some of the world's most advanced telescopic equipment. Firstly, Mauna Kea offers the highest point in the Pacific Basin and stands above 40% of the world's atmosphere. Secondly, the atmosphere here is clean, dry and stable. Thirdly, visibility is exceptional owing to dark skies undisturbed by city lights. Learn more about the observatory by visiting their excellent website.