Home Sweet Hale
E komo mai! (Welcome!)
ʻO Heather Kaluna koʻu inoa (my name is Heather Kaluna). I am an Assistant Professor at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, my undergraduate alma matter. I earned a MS and PhD in Astronomy at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Due to my connection to our moana (ocean), my research interests focus on studying wai i ka lewa (water in space) and the potential origin sources of wai honua (Earth's water).
In 2009, three spacecraft each independently conducted near-IR observations of the Moon and found evidence of surface water and hydroxyl. Although there is agreement that detectable amounts of water/hydroxyl is present on the lunar surface, it is still unclear as to whether the water/hydroxyl varies in abundance throughout the lunar day. Thus, I have been collaborating with researchers at UH Mānoa and NASA's Johnson Space Center to conduct ground-based observations of the Moon to further study the distribution and temporal nature of lunar water and/or hydroxyl. The observations are being conducted using the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility on Maunakea, and the observations are providing us with an ideal spatial and spectral resolution to investigate this phenomena.