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Starry Heavens Newsletter
July 2018
A Stunning Duo
Venus and the crescent moon will make a stunning pair on the evening of July 15. Sky-watchers may catch a glimpse of their encounter low in the southwestern sky. They will appear to be separated by less than 1.6 degrees, which is equal to about 3 lunar disks.
Total Lunar Eclipse
Although we won't be able to see it in Hawaii, a second lunar eclipse this year will occur on the evening of July 27. if you are traveling you may be able to witness the moon go dark when a total lunar eclipse will cross South America, Europe, Australia, Africa, and Asia. This time, the eclipse will occur about half a day after the moon reaches its farthest point from Earth, making this full moon the smallest for 2018. The total eclipse begins at 19:30 UT. During this event, the moon will travel through the darkest part of Earth’s shadow, potentially making this a particularly deep total eclipse.
Mars at Its Best
Mars will be at its biggest and brightest since 2003 this month.On the evening of July 27, Mars will seem to glide close to the moon just as it reaches its peak visibility for the year. From our perspective Mars will be at opposition when it sits opposite the sun in the sky. During opposition, Mars will look like a super-bright orange star in the southern sky.

Since Mars does not have a perfectly circular orbit around the sun, the red planet gets nearer and farther from Earth over time. This year, Mars will be especially close to Earth shortly after opposition, coming within 35.8 million miles of us on July 31. This combination means that Mars will be at its biggest and brightest since 2003, and it won’t get this close to us again until 2035.
While the planet will look spectacular to the naked eye, people using backyard telescopes may have the opportunity to see  views of various Martian surface features, such as its white polar caps and dark volcanic plains

 Zenith Star Stories
Looking straight up at the stars in July, it will be easy to see the constellations of Hercules, Corona Borealis and  Boötes. Boötes is not only interesting because it is one of the largest constellations in the sky (the 13th largest constellation) but it is also home to Arcturus, the third individual brightest star in the night sky after Sirius and Canopus, which are seen in the winter sky. Boötes was first named and catalogued as a constellation by the Greek astronomer, Ptolemy, in the second century.
Personally, I think Boötes looks like an ice cream cone but this constellation is traditionally depicted as a herdsman with two hunting dogs on a leash and a club in his other hand. In the sky, Boötes follows Ursa Major around the pole. In one story, the constellation represents a ploughman driving the oxen in the Ursa Major constellation, followed by his two dogs, Asterion and Chara (represented by the constellation Canes Venatici, the Hunting Dogs). The ploughman’s oxen are tied to the polar axis and their movement keeps the skies in constant rotation.
The most common tale of Boötes is that he represents Arcas, the son of Zeus and Callisto. Zeus’ wife Hera, having heard of her husband’s infidelity, transformed Callisto into a bear. Callisto roamed the woods until years later she met her son, who was now grown up and a hunter. Arcas didn’t recognize his mother and began to chase her. Callisto hid herself in a temple, where he could not hurt her without risking being sentenced to death for defiling a sacred place. To avoid a tragedy, Zeus placed both of them in the sky; Callisto as Ursa Major and Arcas as Boötes.
Corona Borealis is a small but recognizable constellation that was also first cataloged by Ptolemy in the 2nd century. Corona Borealis lies between the constellations Boötes and Hercules. Corona Borealis represents the crown of Ariadne, daughter of King Minos in Greek mythology, who helped the hero Theseus kill the Minotaur and find his way out of the labyrinth in which the creature lived. Theseus and Ariadne sail of together but he abandons her on the isle of Naxos where Dionysus finds her weeping. Dionysus falls in love with Ariadne and they marry. On her wedding day she wears a crown made by Vulcan and at the end of the ceremony she tossed it into the sky.
Of course every culture puts their twist on the stories in the stars. In Celtic mythology, Corona Borealis is known as Caer Arianrhod, or the Castle of Arianrhod, the place where the mythical Lady Arianrhod lived. Arabs call it the poor people's bowl or Alphecca which means broken up. The Cheyenne Indians call it the camp circle as it is the way they arrange their camps in a semi circle and in Australia it is known as womera, the boomerang.
I love a good story and there are so many in the stars.
Just a Reminder
No public shows  during the month of July. Shows on the sidebar begin Friday August 3, with Ibex, In search of the Edge of the Galaxy at 7pm and Pink Floyd at 8:15 pm.
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:
  • $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

IBEX, Search for the Edge
of the Solar System
Friday, August 3,
7:00 pm
Pink Floyd, Dark Side of
the Moon
Friday, August 3,
8:15 pm
Stargazing with
Krissie Kellogg
Wednesday, August 8,
7:00 pm 

Magic Treehouse,
Space Mission
Saturday, August 25,
1:00 pm
Cowboy Astronomer,
Saturday, August 25,
2:00 pm
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