Mauna Kea / NASA Infrared Telescope Facility Virtual Tour

Welcome to the Mauna Kea Observatory virtual tour. This is a series of linked images that allow you to travel around and between Mauna Kea Observatory, its Hale Pohaku dormitory, and particularly the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility as they were in January and February 2000. The concept was inspired by the computer games Myst and Riven.


All images are provided in full size (640 x 480) format for maximum detail, and half-size (320 x 240) format for faster navigation. You can explore in either format, switching between them at any time by clicking on the link at the bottom of each image.

 With some exceptions, you can move forward (if allowed) by clicking on the center of an image, and turn to the left or right (without changing location) by clicking on the appropriate side. The allowed moves from each view, and the boundaries of the clickable zones, are shown above the image. The caption above the image says where you are, not what you are looking at.

 If you have trouble making a turn, try continuing straight ahead and then looking to the left and right- the path may become clear.


 The site is being developed by John Spencer, using a digital camera and IDL routines to write the HTML code. Images are heavily compressed to speed up download and allow more to be included: the rule is quantity (currently over 600 images) not quality!

 Recent additions (added in April 2001, but using images taken in February 2000) include the old road from Hale Pohaku to the first switchback of the modern road, and also the IRTF kitchen. The site may be expanded in the future if I get ambitious.

 Click on any image below to enter the virtual walkthrough:

Hale Pohaku Dormitory: Lobby 

Picnic area, old summit road

Millimeter Valley, heading downhill
Mauna Kea Summit, looking to Gemini Telescope 
NASA Infrared Telescope Dome
NASA Infrared Telescope Control Room