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Starry Heavens Newsletter
December 2015
Tis the season … for Makahiki, for a Christmas Day full moon, and for our Season of Light planetarium program. On Saturday, December 19 we will feature Season of Light, which has become a Holiday favorite at the Imaginarium, showing at 1pm and 2pm. This program recounts the historical religious and cultural rituals practiced during the dark months of winter solstice including those of Christian, Jewish, Celtic, Nordic, Roman, Irish, Mexican and Hopi peoples. Also examined are the more light-hearted seasonal traditions that are embraced: from gift-giving and kissing under the mistletoe, to songs about lords a-leaping and ladies dancing, and the custom of decking the halls with greenery and candles. St. Nicholas, Sinterklaas, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, and Santa Claus make appearances too. All of this seasonal information wrapped together with a finishing ribbon exploring comets, meteors, novae and supernovae, planetary conjunctions and the possible astronomical explanations for a Star over Bethlehem.

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Makahiki is a Hawaiian season focusing on a celebration of the bounty of the land in honor of Lono, the Hawaiian god of rain, agriculture, fertility and peace; it is considered the beginning of the Hawaiian New Year. In ancient times, a kahuna would announce the start of Makahiki after observing two astronomical events, first the rising of the Pleiades at sunset, followed by the first Hilo (crescent) moon that follows that rising. This period generally began in October/November and would last until February/March. Throughout Makahiki many religious ceremonies occurred; commoners would frequently stop their work to make offerings to chiefs, and spend time participating in sports, dancing, and feasts. This year the Hilo moon should be visible at dusk in the west on December 12, which will mark the beginning of the Hawaiian New Year.
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Early Christmas morning at 1:12am the moon will be full, the last time we experienced a full Christmas moon was in 1977. So if you have youngsters who want to stay up late to watch for a jolly man and his reindeer bringing gifts you might point out that their sleigh may not be visible due to the brightness of this year’s unusual Christmas full moon.
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Season's greetings from the staff of the Hokulani Imaginarium
with all good wishes for the new year.

December Schedule
There are no nighttime shows scheduled in the Imaginarium during December due to the numerous Holiday activities occurring throughout the month. Please note that our monthly Stargazing program scheduled for Wednesday, December 9 has been canceled, we hope that you will join our presenter Krissie Kellogg for her next live Stargazing program at 7:00pm on Wednesday, January 13, 2016.

Saturday, Dec. 19 – 1:00 & 2:00pm
Season of Light
Call (808) 235-7433 for reservations.

Due to limited seating, we recommend making reservations for our programs.
Call (808) 235-7433 between 8am-4pm, Monday-Friday.
(Reservation phone line is not available on weekends.)
CASH & CHECK ONLY. An ATM is located on campus behind the Imaginarium building, next to The Hub coffee shop.

Please arrive at the Imaginarium at least 30 minutes before showtime. Reserved tickets must be picked up at the Imaginarium box office at least 15 minutes prior to start of program. Unclaimed tickets are released for sale to walk-in customers on a first come, first served basis.

NASA New Horizon Captures A Full Day
NASA has just released an amazing collage of Pluto images encompassing a nearly week-long full-day rotation of the planet. During a flyby this past July cameras onboard the New Horizon spacecraft were able to capture the dwarf planet during one full rotation, which takes place in the same time period as 6.4 Earth days. The images were taken by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) and the Ralph/Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera from distances ranging from 5 million miles to 400,000 miles as the spacecraft sped by the planet.

Each of the images was scaled to proportion and then arranged to provide the overall view of the planet within this one collage. If you look closely in the image below you can see the heart-shaped Tombaugh Regio, a prominent region that is covered in nitrogen ice (in the 6 and 7 o’clock positions). Scientists continue to analyze these unique images of Pluto which they have waited 9.5 years to see since the New Horizon craft was launched towards the outer edges of our solar system in 2006.

Please visit and LIKE our WCC Imaginarium Facebook Page.

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As always, we welcome your feedback or questions, feel free to phone (808) 235-7350 or email to if you would like information regarding our Adopt-a-Show sponsorship program please click here.

Season of Light
Saturday, Dec. 19
1:00 & 2:00pm
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