Starry Heavens Newsletter
Bedazzling Venus — Goddess of Love
Having adorned the evening skies since summer, the planet Venus will soon attain its greatest brightness in mid-February, just in time for Valentine’s Day, when it shines at magnitude – 4.6, high above the evening’s western horizon. Through a telescope, Venus appears as a featureless crescent, an observation first reported by Galileo in 1610. The brightness of Venus
depends upon its phase and proximity to earth. As depicted in the Honolulu sky chart below (based on NAO Japan
), Mars currently hovers nearby Venus at its top left.
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A Valentine’s Story
In classical mythology, Venus and Mars gave birth to twin sons named Himeros
(“sexual lust”) and Cupid
(“desire”), who was also known as Amor
in Rome or Eros
in Greece. Cupid’s bow shot two differently armed arrows: one with a sharp golden tip that injected its wounded with uncontrollable passion; the other a blunt arrowhead made of lead that poisoned its victim with revulsion and retreat. Jealous of the beautiful mortal princess Psyche
(“soul”), Venus commanded her son to pierce her with a lead tipped arrow. Reaching into his quiver while amorously overcome by her beauty, Cupid accidently cut himself on a golden arrow—causing him to fall into intoxicating love. Vengeful Venus sent Psyche on several quests, which Psyche successfully completed with divine aid. Convinced of Psyche’s loyalty as a true soul mate for Cupid, Jupiter allowed Psyche to drink the ambrosia of immortality and marry Cupid. From this marriage made in heaven was born a daughter named Voluptas
(“sensual pleasure”). This love story was originally told in the classic novel Metamorphoses
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Valentine’s Day Special Shows
Enjoy more stories of the heart and sky with Krissie Kellogg as she spellbinds you with her ever popular live show “Star-Crossed Lovers” on Tuesday, Feb 14. The two showings at 7 pm and 8:15 pm are restricted to ages 18 and older. Special ticket price is $10 per person, which includes admission, flower, sweets and photo booth. Reservations required (808-235-7433).
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Cast of Stars
The characters in the Cupid-Psyche love story can also be found in the sky—from planetary parents Venus and Mars currently visible in the winter sky to asteroids 433 Eros (Near Earth Mars-Crosser) and 16 Psyche (Main Asteroid Belt). On February 12, 2001 (two days before Valentine’s Day), Eros became the first asteroid upon which a spacecraft soft landed. For a close-up view of Eros, see the photo below taken by the space probe NEAR Shoemaker
. This past January, NASA approved the Psyche mission
, planned as a 2-year orbital project beginning in 2030 around this 150-mile diameter metallic asteroid.
Caption. NEAR Shoemaker photo showing the north polar region of Eros with the craters Psyche above and Himeros below (photo credit NASA/JPL/JHUAPL).
Due to limited seating of 84 attendees in the Imaginarium, we recommend making reservations for our programs. Call (808) 235-7433 between 8:30am - 3:30pm, Monday - Friday. Reservation phone line is not available on weekends or holidays.
Our admission prices are:
- $7 General admission
- $6 WCC students, military, seniors (65 years or older), with ID
- $5 Children (ages 4-12 years)
- Free for children under 4 years of age (1 per paying adult), and WCC faculty or staff with university ID
CASH & CHECK ONLY. An ATM is located on campus behind the Imaginarium building next to The Hub coffee shop outside the library.
Please pick up and pay for reserved tickets at the Imaginarium Box Office at least 15 minutes prior to showtime. Unclaimed tickets may be sold to waiting customers on a first come, first served basis.
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As always, we welcome your feedback or questions, feel free to phone (808) 236-9111 or email to email@example.com. If you would like information regarding our Adopt-a-Show sponsorship program
please click here
Director, Hōkūlani Imaginarium
Windward Community College
Hale ‘Imiloa 134
Office (808) 236-9111