World's Highest Mountains

Mauna Kea
Mauna Kea
© HVCB / Kirk Aeder
The Big Island is bigger than you might think, with an area of 4,028 square miles. Five massive volcanoes built Hawaii's Big Island and in the fires of creation formed an island twice as large as all Hawaii's other islands combined. To put this in perspective, the Big Island is more than three times the size of Luxembourg.

Mauna Kea, Sunset
Mauna Kea, Sunset
© HVCB / Kirk Aeder
Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa are the two largest mountains on earth, if measured from their base over 30,000 feet from the ocean floor. The mysteries of the universe reveal themselves through 11 of the world's most advanced astronomical observatories at the summit.

Traditional Stargazer

Onizuka Space Center
Onizuka Space Center
© HVCB / Kirk Aeder
Ancient Hawaiians were very adept at identifying stars and planets to help them navigate the seas. Today, scientists are treated to the clearest of skies from the top of Mauna Kea, well above 40% of the earth's atmosphere.

The Onizuka Centre for International Astronomy, accessible at the mountain's mid-level, explains the international research conducted at the summit for those interested in finding out more.