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Starry Heavens Newsletter
June 2016

Summer Solstice marks the beginning of the summer season. It is the longest day of the year in areas of the Northern Hemisphere due to the Earth’s axial tilt being aimed directly towards the star we orbit, our Sun. This year summer Solstice occurs at 12:35pm on June 20 in Hawaii. People often question if the day is really any longer in Hawaii because of our close location to Earth’s equator, the answer is yes, even though it’s only a few seconds longer, we do experience a slightly longer day.

Another query we receive is the origin of the word “solstice”; according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the word “solstice” is from the Latin solstitium, from sol (sun) and stitium (to stop), reflecting the fact that the Sun appears to stop momentarily at this time (and again at the winter solstice).
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Pausing Public Presentations

Even though the days will be a few seconds longer during summer months the Hōkūlani Imaginarium staff will be taking time off from presenting Public shows during July in order to concentrate on working with the many keiki summer program groups that will visit us over the coming weeks, and we’ll also be preparing for the fall line-up of Imaginarium shows.
The final show in our current schedule will be The Cowboy Astronomer on Father’s Day June 19 at 2:00pm. Share a wrangler’s perspective of the night sky with the favorite men in your life by attending this skillfully woven tapestry of star tales and Native American legends, combined with constellation identification, star-hopping, and astronomy tidbits — all told from the unique viewpoint of a cowboy who has traveled the world plying his trade and learning the sky along the way. Narrated by American philosopher/poet Baxter Black, the audience is transported to the Western outdoors, listening to star legends and tales around a campfire. Black shares his insights on the composition of the night sky and the things he's discovered over a lifetime of stargazing.

See the side bar in this newsletter for the remaining June dates/times of shows you can attend prior to our July break. We will pick-up presentations again on August 10 at 7:00pm with Krissie Kellogg’s Stargazing show.
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A Standout Venue
If you’re searching for a memorable site for a get-together consider the Aerospace Exploration Lab (AEL) and/or Hōkūlani Imaginarium. You and your guests can explore science through a variety of hands-on activities and exhibits in the AEL, watch a show on the 360-degree fulldome in the 84-seat Imaginarium, or perhaps combine the two together for an Astronomy or Space themed gathering. Bring your own refreshments and non-alcoholic beverages to add to your visit to the beautiful grounds of the Windward Community College and make this a special educational and entertaining experience for guests of all ages; plus the variety of show topics in the Imaginarium can be tailored to many themes. Pricing for an event varies depending on your scheduling and choice of activities; to make arrangements for an event contact the Imaginarium Manager Larry Wiss at (808) 235-7350.
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Mysterious Seeds

One of the biggest space mysteries for scientists is the origin of Black Holes; a place in space where gravity pulls so strongly that even light cannot escape. Following evaluation of data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, Hubble Space Telescope, and Spitzer Space Telescope, researchers believe they have identified black hole “seeds.” Fabio Pacucci of Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy, stated that, "We found evidence that supermassive black hole seeds can form directly from the collapse of a giant gas cloud, skipping any intermediate steps." The researcher’s findings will be discussed in a paper that will appear in an upcoming issue of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. You can read a NASA News report on the findings here.

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 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 ID
CASH & CHECK ONLY. An ATM is located on campus behind the Imaginarium building, next to The Hub coffee shop.

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.

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.

Larry Wiss
Manager, Hōkūlani Imaginarium
Windward Community College
Hale Imiloa 135A
Office (808) 235-7350

Wednesday, June 8
Tales of the Maya Skies
Friday, June 10
Led Zeppelin
Friday, June 10

Magic Tree House Space Mission
Saturday, June 18
Ancient Skies
Saturday, June 18
The Cowboy Astronomer (Father's Day)
Sunday, June 19
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