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Starry Heavens Newsletter
April 2019

April Premieres at Hokulani Imaginarium

Join us Friday, April 5, at 7:00p.m. for the premiere of Phantom of the Universe – The Search for Dark Matter. From the journey of protons racing through the world’s largest particle collider in Europe to up-close views of the Big Bang and emergent universe, and the nearly mile-deep descent to an underground experiment in South Dakota, Hokulani Imaginarium has scored a major new offering with this acquisition. Please be sure to put it on your calendar.

Join us for another premiere Saturday, April 27 at 2:15pm for Expedition Reef. Coral reefs are the nursery for all life in the oceans, a remarkable ecosystem that sustains us, yet with carbon emissions warming the seas, coral bleaching, a sign of mass coral death has been accelerating around the world and is silently raging. Narrated by Tony Award® winner Lea Salonga, Expedition Reef will immerse audiences in an undersea adventure. Learn the secrets of the "rainforests of the sea" as you and your visitors embark on an oceanic safari to the world’s most vibrant — and endangered — marine ecosystems. This fulldome planetarium show provides an up-close look at a part of our planet many people have never experienced. Discover how corals grow, feed, reproduce, and support over 25% of all marine life on Earth — while facing unprecedented threats from climate change, habitat destruction, and over fishing.

We look forward to seeing you at the Imaginarium for these premieres.

Paliku Arts Festival
We also look forward to seeing you at the Imaginarium for several special shows as part of the Paliku Arts Festival, Saturday April 6. At 12:30 p.m. there will be a special $3 rate for a 30-minute show featuring a fulldome show, "Solar Quest", an animated short, "Lifted" and a live-sky segment of current constellations in the night sky.

Ebb and Flow productions will feature two free "Music of the Spheres" shows
1:30 and 2:30 p.m.


Israeli Lunar Lander Heads to the Moon
Israel's "Beresheet" lunar lander was carried into space February 22, 2019 by a Falcon 9 rocket in hopes of a soft landing on the Moon this month. A SpaceXFalcon 9 rocket carried a group of payloads into space including the first privately funded lunar lander known as the Beresheet lunar lander.

Originally nicknamed Sparrow, Beresheet (Hebrew for the phrase from the Book of Genesis, “in the beginning”) weighs in at 1283 pounds (582 kilograms), including about 882 pounds (400 kilograms) of propellant. The lander is 5 feet (1.5 meters) high by 6 feet (2 meters) wide. It shares the rocket's nose fairing with Indonesia's Nusantara Satu communications satellite and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory's S5 space situational awareness satellite. Both of the satellites are headed towards geostationary orbit.

The lander's trip to the launch pad was a long one, and it still has a ways to go — geostationary orbit will only get the lander a tenth of the way to the Moon. Its journey will take about seven weeks, as the lander slowly raises its orbit for capture by the Moon in early April. It is due to land on the Moon April 11, 2019.

If successful, Israel will become the fourth nation — behind the United States, Russia, and China — to make a soft landing on the Moon. India and Japan have also fielded orbiters around the Moon. Tracking stations worldwide will now monitor Beresheet, as SpaceIL controls the mission from company headquarters in Tel Aviv where the mission team will scout the 9.3 mile landing site in the Mare Serenitatis, also known as the Sea of Serenity.

Israel's 1st moon mission spacecraft sends back selfie 37,600 km from Earth

SpaceIL and its Beresheet Lander were born from the Google Lunar X Prize, which challenged teams to land on the Moon, travel 500 meters on the lunar surface, and return images to Earth. Although the March 31, 2018, deadline for the $20 million award has come and gone, SpaceIL continued development. All told, the lander was a bargain at just under $100 million, funded mainly by the Israeli Space Agency and private donors.

The lander is solar-powered, with a mission slated to last 4 to 5 days before it succumbs to the heat of the lunar day. Landing is expected to occur on or around April 11th. Although the mission is primarily a technology demonstrator, it does carry a small science package equipped with an instrument to measure magnetism in Moon rocks. The spacecraft also carries a laser retroreflector, an instrument NASA contributed to help with ground tracking, and several cameras. If it survives long enough and the terrain looks like it can support it, engineers may direct Beresheet to briefly fire its engines and perform a brief “hop”, thereby satisfying the defunct Google Lunar X Prize's 500-meter travel requirement.

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.

* * * * *
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

Phantom of the Universe Premiere
Friday, April 5,
7:00 pm

Teachers – Phantom of the Universe supports NGSS: 4-PS4, 5-PS1-3, MS-PS1-4, MS-ETS1, MS-PS1-4, MS-ETS1

Led Zeppelin
Friday, April 5,
8:15 pm

Paliku Arts Festival
Saturday, April 6,
Solar Quest, Lifted and "live Sky" for $3 @ 12:30pm
Music of the Spheres

2 free shows at 1:30
and 2:30 pm

with Krissie Kellogg

Wednesday, April 10,
7:00 pm

Kalu' okahina
Saturday, April 27,
1:00 pm

Teachers - Totality supports NGSS: K-PS2, K-ESS2-3, 3-LS4, MS-LS2 & 4,
Expedition Reef Premiere
Saturday, April 27,
2:15 pm

Teachers - Totality supports NGSS: 2-LS2&4, 2-ESS2, 3LS1&4, 3-ESS3, 4-PS3 & 4, 4-ESS 2&3, 4-LS1, 5-PS3, 5-ESS2&3, M-LS2&3, MS-ESS2&3.
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