• W. M. Keck Observatory - A Remarkable Time in Our History

    December 05, 2022


    On behalf of our staff and community of astronomers at the W. M. Keck Observatory, I want to take this opportunity to wish our observatory family of donors and supporters the happiest of holiday seasons. Thank you for your support of our mission over the years.

    The past 12 months have been a remarkable time in our history. This Fall, we welcomed our newest flagship instrument to the Observatory - the Keck Planet Finder (KPF). A decade in the making, KPF saw first light on November 9th (Carl Sagan’s birthday!) and is now going through its commissioning phase, with full science operations to commence in Spring 2023. KPF will keep the Keck Observatory at the forefront of exoplanet research for decades to come.

    Just after the New Year, we will welcome the delivery of another new instrument, the Keck Cosmic Reionization Mapper (KCRM). By joining KCRM with its partner instrument, KCWI, which has become one of the most in-demand instruments at Keck Observatory since it was commissioned in 2017, we expect unsurpassed capabilities in advancing one of the Keck Observatory’s strengths - the study of the farthest and the faintest objects in the universe.

    Also in 2023, we’ll add a powerful new upgrade, a Laser Frequency Comb, to our NIRSPEC instrument, vastly increasing NIRSPEC’s sensitivity and allowing it to join our growing number of instruments used for exoplanet studies.

    All of these new instruments and upgrades, along with programs such as our Keck Visiting Scholars, the Keck Science Collaborative, and the Data Services Initiative, are made possible only through the support of our donors. Philanthropy powers the mission of the Observatory. Your gifts cultivate cutting-edge scientific discovery and fosters international leadership.

    If you have made a recent year-end gift to Keck Observatory, we offer our deepest gratitude. If you are perhaps considering supporting our mission, please make your gift today - online at www.keckobservatory.org/donate

    Thank you again for joining us as we continue our fantastic journey of discovery. I hope to see you in person next year or at one of our Zoom astronomy talks!

    Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season,
    Dr. John O’Meara

    Chief Scientist

    Joan Campbell, Fund Development
    W. M. Keck Observatory
    65-1120 Mamalahoa Hwy., Kamuela, HI 96743
    (808) 881-3854