Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano in the south-central part of the island of Hawaii. It is also the tallest mountain in the Hawaiian chain with an elevation of 4,205 meters above sea level. The peak of this volcano is the highest point in the state.
The volcano is about 1 million years old and the last eruption of the volcano is estimated to have occurred approximately 4,500 years ago. Like all other volcanoes on the Hawaii Island, it is also a shield volcano, most of the mountain is submerged under the Pacific Ocean. When measured from its oceanic base, it is over 33,000 feet tall.
Fast Facts: –
- Mauna Kea is the second largest in the sub aerial surface area of the five shield volcanoes that comprise the Hawaii Island.
- It is also the site of a major astronomical observatory.
- The summit is an ideal place for sky watching and star gazing because of its high altitude, thin and clear air.
- It also contains numerous small cinder and pumice cones near its summit.
- This mountain is sacred to the Hawaiian people.
- The fertile lower slopes of the mountain are used for agriculture, especially for growing coffee beans.
- The mountain is also home to the world’s most powerful telescopes including the Keck Telescope that has the world’s largest mirror.
- Scientists believe that an eruption will occur at some point in the future.
- It is the highest mountain in the world, bigger than Mount Everest. Most people consider Mount Everest to be the tallest but Mauna Kea when measured from its oceanic base to its peak is taller.