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Starry Heavens Newsletter
March 2016

Earth’s moon will play multiple rolls in both shielded-eye and fulldome viewings this month in Hawaii on March 8th, 11th, and 22nd/23rd.

On Tuesday the 8th we will be able to observe a partial solar eclipse that will take place over a 2-hour period; beginning at 4:33pm and ending at 6:33pm. In a partial solar eclipse the moon passes between Earth and our sun, which blocks part of the sun’s disc from view. At about 5:30pm, if you look low to the west, around 14 degrees above the horizon, you will see a large chip taken out of the sun as the moon moves across your view and the sun eventually sets at 6:36pm. NOTE: It is never safe to view a partial eclipse with a naked eye; the publication Sky & Telescope offers some great examples of methods for safe shielded-eye viewing of eclipses.

Friday, March 11th is the second significant experience involving the moon this month when the Hōkūlani Imaginarium premieres our new fulldome show The Dark Side of the Moon at 8:15pm. This light and sound presentation includes waves of colors, images, animations, and fractals synchronized to the music of Pink Floyd’s classic 1973 album of the same name. The music on the album is considered a mix of art, hard, progressive, psychedelic, and space rock all in one. The album spent a record-setting 736 weeks on Billboard’s Top 200 list, a record that has yet to be broken. Due to the show’s content, it is suggested for audiences from grade 7 and above; length of this moon experience is 43 minutes. You can make reservations by calling 235-7433 between 8:30am and 3:30pm Monday through Friday.

The third moon experience in March is a bit more difficult to observe; just before midnight on Tuesday the 22nd a Penumbral Lunar eclipse will begin. This eclipse is very faint and therefore difficult to observe; it happens when the moon moves through the outer part of Earth’s shadow; the shadowed section is only a bit fainter than the rest of the moon however it can be safely viewed with the naked eye. With duration of 4 hours and 15 minutes this eclipse begins on March 22nd at 11:39pm and ends on March 23 at 3:54pm. This illustration shows what the view of the moon will be during maximum at 1:47am on March 23rd.

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A special spherical camera recently launched into space by a group of students on February 27th may be used to capture 3D images of this March's partial solar eclipse from Indonesia. Last month students of the organization Earth to Sky Calculus launched a space weather helium balloon to the stratosphere to measure levels of cosmic rays; included in the balloon payload was a Ricoh Theta S camera that recorded some phenomenal images including the explosion of the balloon itself in the stratosphere which can be seen in the image below. The students will travel to Indonesia this month, where the view will be that of a total eclipse; hopefully the camera will be able to record more striking 3D images again from that vantage point at the edge of space.

(For more images of the preparation for launch, and the balloon’s ascension through clouds follow this link.

Reservations Suggested
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.)

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, WCC faculty or staff with ID

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.

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.

Stargazing w Krissie Kellogg
Wednesday, Mar 9
Flying Monsters
Friday, Mar 11
Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon
Premiere - Friday, Mar 11
(Suggested for grade 7 and above)
Saturday, Mar 19
Dream To Fly
Saturday, Mar 19
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