Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano that last erupted approximately 4000 years ago. Located in the central Big Island, it sits north of Mauna Loa, the world's most massive mountain. At 13,796 feet above sea level and over 33,000 feet from the bottom of the ocean floor, Mauna Kea is the tallest seamountain in the world. The largest astronomical observatory in the world is located at the summit of Mauna Kea. Here international scientists work with a sophisticated array of telescopes to gather data about the vast celestial universe.
The sparsely populated Ka`u District, at the southern tip of the island, is known for its rich environmental diversity. A large chunk of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is located in this district, as are wind farms, highland forests, the parched Ka`u Desert and enticing black, white and green sand beaches. South Point, at the bottom of the district, is considered the southernmost tip of the United States, and the village of Na`alehu, the southernmost town.
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