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Starry Heavens Newsletter
August 2016
Mark your calendar, August has two notable astronomy related dates to remember; the evening of August 10th is the first planetarium show of the fall season in The Hōkūlani Imaginarium, and August 12th – 13th is the prime period for viewing this year’s Perseid meteor shower in the skies above Hawaii.

Krissie Kellogg’s live Stargazing presentation at 7:00 p.m. on August 10th is an opportunity to hear firsthand about the stars, planets and our moon as they move through space in relation to Earth. On the second Wednesday of each month Krissie spends an hour sharing celestial info and addressing audience questions. Over the years she has accumulated quite a following so we suggest that you make reservations for her shows; see the reservations info below for all of the shows in the Imaginarium’s fall line-up, which runs through January 21, 2017.

The Perseids are one of the most popular yearly meteor showers due to the abundance of visible meteoroids, typically up to 80 per hour. 2016 is termed as an “outburst” year, according to NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke and, which means the visibility rate could reach 150-200 meteors per hour; the first such outburst since 2009.

Although the Perseid shower will occur this year July 17 to August 24 the optimum viewing period in Hawaii will be in the early morning from 12:01 a.m. until dawn on August 12, and 12:01 a.m. until dawn on August 13. The moon is cooperating this year to provide good viewing, it will be more than half full, but not quite fully illuminated, in what’s known as a waxing gibbous moon phase; also it will be setting each night just before the meteor shower begins.

Perseid Trivia
  • The meteor shower occurs as Earth passes through the trail of dust and debris behind comet Swift-Tuttle.
  • The particles (or meteoroids) can be as small as a grain of sand or big as marbles.
  • The particles enter into Earth's atmosphere at a rate of about 133,200 miles per hour then burn up, which makes them visible as streaks across the sky.
  • Meteor showers are named after constellations that they originate from; in this instance the Perseids appear to come from the constellation Perseus.
Viewing Tips
  • Find a viewing location as far away from artificial lights of cities as possible.
  • Give your eyes about 30 minutes to adjust to the darkness.
  • Make yourself comfortable, a reclining lounge chair is ideal.
  • Slowly scan the sky, beginning with the constellation of Perseus, which rises in the east around midnight.
  • Be patient, the longer you wait the more likely it is that you will see multiple meteors.
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Name That Moon
There will be two new moons in August, do you know what the second new moon in a month is called? For that answer, and other celestial happenings through the end of 2016, visit the Sky Information for 2016 link on the Center for Aerospace Education webpage.
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Commercial Crew Program Expands
Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) has joined NASA’s Commercial Crew Program in support of human spaceflight launch/return capabilities for the International Space Station. NASA awarded SpaceX with an order for a crew rotation mission; pairing this mission with two which were previously ordered from The Boeing Company will increase the time U.S. crews can dedicate to scientific research onboard the International Space Station, which is helping prepare astronauts for deep space missions, including journeying to Mars. According to the manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, Kathy Lueders, "These systems will ensure reliable U.S. crew rotation services to the station, and will serve as a lifeboat for the space station for up to seven months."

SpaceX was required to meet extensive developmental milestones and pass internal design reviews for its Crew Dragon spacecraft, Falcon 9 rocket and associated ground systems in order to secure the NASA contract. Full details on the Commercial Crew Program are available on this NASA webpage.

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 university 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, August 10
Ancient Skies
Friday, August 12
Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon
Friday, August 12

One World One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure
Saturday, August 20
Flying Monsters
Saturday, August 20
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