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Starry Heavens Newsletter
November 2017

Venus-Jupiter Conjunction
November 13, at 5:40am HST Venus and Jupiter will be in conjunction, that is, they share the same right ascension.

In astronomy, a conjunction occurs when two sky objects have the same right ascension or the same ecliptic longitude, as observed from Earth. Conjunctions occur all the time, some are special while others are rather ordinary. In astronomical terms, a conjunction involves the close approach of two or more solar system bodies or a close approach of a single solar system body with another object in the sky. Conjunctions are only from our perspective here on the planet Earth, since the objects are never actually close together.
Venus-Jupiter conjunctions are not necessarily rare, in fact, they are relatively frequent. However, the close ones, where the planets appear to merge together are referred to as Epoch Conjunctions.
Epoch Conjunctions are infrequent enough to attract the attention of stargazers.

On November 13, from Kaneohe, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 8° above the horizon (less than a fist height above the horizon). They will be visible in the pre-dawn sky, rising at 05:40 (HST) – 1 hour and 2 minutes before the Sun – and reach an altitude of 8° above the eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 06:26. However, they will be visible to the naked eye if you want to try your luck at seeing this Venus-Jupiter conjunction. 

2017 Makahiki Season 
In the Hawaiian language, the word Makahiki means "year". The ancient Hawaiians split the year into two seasons. The first was called the Makahiki season, which was a period of four lunar months  characterized by a time of no war fare, a time of celebration and good will. The second lasted eight lunar months where rituals of  were practiced as well as the change from harvest time to the beginning of the agricultural season. This probably came from Makaliʻi hiki the rising of the Pleiades, known in Hawaii as the Makali'i, which occurs about this time of year. It might also come from ma Kahiki, meaning roughly "as in Tahiti", since the legend of Lono is associated with voyages to and from Tahiti. Its origins are linked to the "return" of Lono, as a mortal man during one of the early migrations.
The beginning of Makahiki generally is fixed each year by astronomical observations. On the Island of Hawai`i, when Makali'i (Pleiades) star cluster rises shortly after sunset, usually around November 17, the rising of the following first crescent moon marks the beginning of the season, which will be November 19, 2017. On O`ahu, it may begin when Makali'i rises above Pu'u o Mahuka Heiau, as seen from Kaena Point


Annual Leonids Meteor Shower
During the late night of November 17, and the early morning i.e. after midnight, the Leonids will be at their peak. Everyone wants to make a wish on a shooting star (actually meteors) and this will be the time as it is possible to see about 20 meteors an hour.
The Leonid meteor shower occurs annually in November when the Earth passes through the debris left by the comet Tempel-Tuttle. The shower is called Leonids because the point in the sky where the meteors seem to emerge from lies in area of the constellation Leo. If you are up at midnight on November 17, spread a blanket, lie down and look up and east and count the shooting stars. Don’t forget to make a wish.


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 new admission prices beginning August 2017 are:
  • $8 General admission
  • $7 WCC students, military, seniors (65 years or older), with ID
  • $6 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

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.
Dineene O'Connor
Manager, Hōkūlani Imaginarium
Windward Community College
Hale Imiloa 135A
Office (808) 235-7350

with Krissie Kellogg

Wednesday, November 8,
Dream To Fly
Saturday, November 11,
Double Feature:
Astronaut and Flight Adventure

Saturday, November 11,
2:00 pm

Double Feature:
Flight Adventure
Saturday, November 11,
Season of Light
Friday, November 24,
7:00 pm 

Between Earth and Sky
Friday, November 24
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