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RE: Hawaii Quake
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Series of earthquakes strike Big Island of Hawaii 

A 4.5-magnitude earthquake struck the north part of the Big Island on Wednesday, and the shaking was followed by a series of smaller temblors.
The first quake struck 13 miles southeast of Waimea at about 2 p.m., the U.S. Geological Survey said. It was centered at a depth of 11.7 miles. About two dozen smaller quakes ranging in magnitude from 1.7 to 3.6 followed within two hours.

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UPDATE: NOV. 15, 2006
Keck I operates over the full azimuth range, though at a reduced slew speed of 0.5 degrees /sec (normal operating maximum speed is 1.3 degrees/sec). The Keck I pointing systems still need to be improved, but the marginal pointing is not affecting the quality of science data collected.

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The Subaru telescope is now tracking celestial objects at its pre-Earthquake performance level. Following the earthquakes that shook Hawaii on October 15, 2006, the telescope had difficulty synchronizing its movements with the sky. The problem was due to a shift in the encoder unit that measures the rotation of the telescope. Realignment of the encoder and the telescope has enabled tracking with pre-Earthquake precision. The overall performance of the telescope will become known once each of Subaru's three secondary mirrors (Note 1) and nine observing instruments (Note 2) are tested by carrying out previously scheduled observing programs.

Public tours of the telescope will resume when tests and repair work are completed and the tour route becomes safe for visitors. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

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The following item was updated at 5h00 pm HST on Thursday, October 26

Message from Dr. Doug Simons, Gemini Director
Our engineering team made great progress recently toward bringing Gemini-North back on-line after the large earthquake experienced about 2 weeks ago in Hawaii. As of last Friday the only subsystem preventing us from going back onto the sky for night-time engineering tests was the secondary mirror's tip/tilt system, which would not initialise properly. Recent tests have demonstrated that the problem is very likely due to a bad position sensor and/or associated cabling. Unfortunately these components are deeply embedded within the tip/tilt system and we must remove the secondary mirror from the telescope and perform the necessary repair work in the summit lab. Given the time needed to remove the secondary from the telescope, receive new parts, install them, then mount the secondary mirror assembly back on the telescope, we are now planning on having Gemini North shutdown for at least 2 more weeks.

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The massive jolt that rocked Hawai'i damaged some of the world's most advanced equipment for gazing into outer space.
Scientists at many of the 13 telescopes atop Mauna Kea on the Big Island are still examining their implements to gauge the extent of the problems. Many have suspended their celestial observations to inspect equipment for flaws.
Christian Veillet, executive director of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, said an encoder — a device enabling astronomers to keep track of what part of the sky they are looking at — had a chunk taken out of it when Sunday's magnitude 6.7 earthquake lifted his telescope up and down.

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Scientists are investigating whether a magnitude-6.0 earthquake that rocked Hawaii within minutes of Sunday's 6.7 temblor was a separate quake and not an aftershock.
The lead scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory and a seismologist at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said Wednesday they were two independent events. Others aren't so sure.
The 6.7-magnitude quake struck 12.5 miles northeast of the Big Island's Kona airport at a depth of 24 miles at 7:07 a.m. Sunday. Seven minutes later, the 6.0-magnitude quake struck 27 miles north of the airport at a depth of about 12.5 miles.
Jim Kauahikaua, the scientist-in-charge at the observatory, said the difference in depths establishes that the two are "independent."
But Egill Hauksson, a seismologist at the California Institute of Technology, said it's too early to categorize the magnitude-6.0 event.
Scientists still need to analyse the pattern of aftershocks in the coming months before determining whether the smaller event was an aftershock or a triggered earthquake
Since 1960, the Big Island has been hit with 31 earthquakes with a magnitude greater than 4.0. But Sunday's first earthquake was the largest recorded since a 6.7 occurred under the east flank of Mauna Loa Volcano on November 16, 1983.
The island also experienced a 7.2-magnitude quake on November 29, 1975,and an estimated 7.9 temblor on April 2, 1868.

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Subaru telescope
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After two days of assessment by staff working emergency shifts, visual inspection has shown that the Subaru telescope avoided major damage from the earthquakes that shook Hawaii on the morning of October 15, 2006. Observations will resume as soon as it is safe to do so.
All Subaru staff and their immediate family who were on the island at the time of the earthquake are safe.

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Earthquake Update from W. M. Keck Observatory

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JCMT Status After Earthquake
Many thanks to all who have expressed concern about the magnitude 6.7 earthquake (plus aftershocks) that rocked the island Sunday morning. At the time of the earthquake, the telescope had been closed after a full night's observing. Power was lost for about 7 hours. As of 3:30pm Monday, there does not appear to be anything mechanically wrong with the telescope, the computers are running, and Rx A & B are cold. HARP, however, has warmed up, and some objects had fallen in the labs.

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As you might know, Hawaii was hit by an important earthquake on Sunday, October 15. In fact three consecutive earthquakes of magnitude 6.6, 5.8 and 4.2, all cantered on a few miles off the Kona coast, hit the Big Island and the other islands. The good news is that nobody in the CFHT staff and their families were injured. The bad news is that our headquarters and the telescope were severely hit. We are in the process of fixing and cleaning our offices and we should be back and running in a normal way in a couple of days. A general assessment of the damage done to the telescope and dome facility is still underway. At the moment, we have identified two areas of concern with the telescope: the RA encoder has been damaged and the dome has moved on its track and cannot be rotated at the moment. If the instruments were affected too remains to be seen.

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