The observatory site on Mt. Haleakala is 10,000 feet above sea level. Here the observing conditions are very good as the telescope is above a lot of the Earth's atmosphere. It is home to our 2-meter class Faulkes Telescope North (FTN) and two of our 0.4-meter telescopes. We are also host to the All Sky Automated Survey telescopes located inside the enclosure. FTN shares the mountain top with other telescopes including MAGNUM, MSSC, SOLAR-C and MEES SOLAR observatories.
The observatory site is near the summit of a dormant volcano, Haleakala. The mountain is considered to be a unique cultural and historic resource for native Hawai'ians on Maui. Before construction began at the site, a traditional Hawai'ian blessing was offered by Reverend Kealahou Alika, Pastor of Keawala'i Congregational Church, in order to offer respect and to honor the spiritual significance of the mountain to native Hawai'ians.
Haleakalā means "House of the Sun" because the demigod Māui (and who the island is named after) climbs the mountain. He lasseos the Sun with his sister's hair, and the struggle to hold it results in the different in length of the days. Haleakala is also said to be the home of the Māui's grandmother.
For further information about the site, check out the Haleakala Observatory website.
Video tour of the LCO site at Haleakala.