Check out the upcoming events and news from the Hokulani Imaginarium!

Starry Heavens Newsletter
July 2020

Aloha Kakou
Thank you to everyone who continues to read the newsletter and check out our website.We hope everyone continues to be well as we begin to plan how to open responsibly to stem the transmission of COVID-19. We miss being able to see you face to face and look forward to the time when we will. As soon as we know when we can resume more normal operations, we will post them on the website so stay tuned.

So Much to Celebrate - July 4 holiday, Full Moon and Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

In this time of uncertainty and frustration we can still celebrate the beautiful world in which we live. On July 4, just after the fullBuck Moonat 6:44 p.m. named after young buck deers’ growing antlers, a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse, which means that the Moon will be dimly shadowed by Earth occurs at 7:21p.m. for 34 minutes. This event can be seen across North and South America, in the eastern Pacific Ocean, the western Atlantic, and in western Africa. In Hawaii this eclipse will already be in progress as the moon rises, with its upper left portion in shadow.

So what is a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse? An eclipse of the moon can only happen at full moon, when the Sun, Earth and Moon line up in space, with Earth in the middle. At such times, Earth’s shadow falls on the moon, creating a lunar eclipse. Lunar eclipses happen a minimum of two times to a maximum of five times a year. There are three kinds of lunar eclipses: total, partial and penumbral.

In a total eclipse of the Moon, the inner part of Earth’s shadow, called the umbra, falls on the moon’s face. At mid-eclipse, the entire moon is in shadow, which may appear blood red.

In a partial lunar eclipse, the umbra takes a bite out of only a fraction of the moon. The dark bite grows larger, and then recedes, never reaching the total phase.

In a penumbral lunar eclipse, only the more diffuse outer shadow of Earth – the penumbra – falls on the moon’s face. This kind of lunar eclipse is much more subtle, and much more difficult to observe, than either a total or partial eclipse of the moon. There is never a dark bite taken out of the moon, as in a partial eclipse. The eclipse never progresses to reach the dramatic minutes of totality. At best, at mid-eclipse, very observant people will notice a dim shading on the moon’s face. Others will look and notice nothing at all. In Hawaii it will be difficult but not impossible to see the penumbral eclipse since the moon will be near the horizon. Without clouds very observant people may be able to detect a dim shading on the moon’s face in which case they are witnessing the penumbral eclipse.

According to eclipse expert Fred Espenak, about 35% of all eclipses are penumbral. Another 30% are partial eclipses, where it appears as if a dark bite has been taken out of the moon. And the final 35% go all the way to becoming total eclipses of the moon, a beautiful natural event.

If you would like to know more about eclipses you should consider coming to the Imaginarium to see our full dome show Totality all about eclipses.

A Question For The Ages – Is it better to have a lot of moons or just one?

Jupiter has over 80 moons. Mars has two. Mercury and Venus have none and Earth has one, which in my humble opinion is a beauty. So what is it about the Moon, one of our most admired heavenly bodies, that creates awe and excitement every time we gaze at it in the depths of the night sky? There is little doubt that we are fascinated by its presence. It captivates our curiosity and inspires writers to compose poems, novels, nursery rhymes and and a multitude of lore and legends.

Watching a lunar eclipse, witnessing the moon’s presence during daylight, pondering the smiling crescent moon or staring at a full moon as it casts a spotlight on a starry night makes people pause to observe and wonder about the other planetary bodies that find their place among the heavens fostering scientific curiosity and discovery.

If you would like to know more about moons consider coming to the Imaginarium to see our new full dome show - Moons: Worlds of Mystery, which immerses the audience in the amazing diversity of moons and the important roles they play in shaping our solar system. Follow in the footsteps of astronauts to our silvery Moon, then venture beyond to unfamiliar and exotic worlds. Journey to the outer planets and their moons, returning home with newfound wonder about the dynamic and intricate solar system in which we all live.


For more information about  Imaginarium shows and events contact:
Manager, Dineene O‘Connor, at 808-235-7350 or                                                                              


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 tickets at the Imaginarium Box Office at least 15 minutes prior to showtime.
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

Dream to Fly
Friday, July 3 , CANCELLED
7:00 pm

Phantom of the Universe 
Friday, July 3,
8:15 pm

Stargazing with
Krissie Kellogg - CANCELLED

Wednesday, July 8,
7:00 pm
Saturday, July 25,
1:00p.m. - CANCELLED
Stars of the Pharaohs

Saturday, July 25,
2 pm
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