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Maui Student Publishes Children’s Book on Astronomy

Mar 19, 2024

Maui high school student Brighten Tantisira with Why Look up?, the astronomy book that he wrote for children.      Image Credit:  Brighten Tantisira

Brighten Tantisira was inspired by LCO data

Brighten Tantisira, a high school senior in Maui, has written a children’s book on astronomy that includes images from Las Cumbres Observatory telescopes. The book, Why Look up? (An Introduction to Our Fascinating Universe for Young Students and Novices), can be found on

Brighten lives in Kula, on the island of Maui, and attends King Kekaulike High School. Growing up on Maui, he was captivated by the night sky and wanted to pursue his keen interest in our place in the universe. He took the opportunity to intern at the University of Hawai’i’s Institute for Astronomy, under the mentorship of Dr. J. D. Armstrong, through the Maui Economic Development Board's STEMworks Internship program. Brighten attended the HI STAR astronomy program in 2021 and 2022, and, after the summer internship, he continued conducting research with Dr. Armstrong.

This work inspired Brighten to create a children’s astronomy book for his high school senior project. Why Look up? introduces young audiences to the cosmos in a simple and entertaining way and includes images from NASA and LCO telescopes. Brighten hopes that his book will provide students with a strong foundation of understanding for astronomical objects, bodies, and phenomena, and will demonstrate why studying the cosmos is vital to our lives here on Earth. Brighten’s excitement for his subject comes through in his book.

Brighten previewed his book at Pukalani Elementary School on Maui and it received rave reviews from the students. Some even said that it is their new favorite book.

Brighten expressed his gratitude to LCO, “Thank you everyone! This book wouldn't have been possible without your support through the LCOGT network. I am truly grateful for the outstanding images and educational experience I gained through the LCO.”

Dr. Armstrong sent LCO the news about the book, “Brighten Tantisira is one of the HI STAR students and I've been working with him for two years. I wanted to share this with all of you. I'm really proud of him and excited about this.”

Las Cumbres Observatory congratulates Brighten on his accomplishments.