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

Starry Heavens Newsletter
August 2020

Aloha Kakou
Thank you to everyone who continues to read the newsletter and check out our website. We are developing some new tools to add to our website that will include video demonstrations and brief discussions of the science toys in the Aerospace  Exploration Lab, constellation star story videos, stargazing podcasts and Night Sky videos. We will let our readers and patrons know when we launch these new tools to the website.

We hope everyone remains well as we continue 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.

Covid-19 may be slowing things down on Earth but the Universe continues to "Rock On"

The Perseids, the "Old Faithful" of meteor showers will show up August 11, peak August 12, but linger into August 13. While the Perseid meteor shower is a favorite among many meteor mavens, this year's display may be diminished by the last quarter moon's glare. Nevertheless, relentless Perseid fans will likely see if the Perseids live up to the notion that they typically produce the most meteors in the wee hours before dawn.

Did You See It?
Did you see comet NEOWISE in July? Fortunately for us, Dr. Ciotti snapped a picture. If you have binoculars you might still have a chance through at least early August. Facing west-northwest after dusk, follow the curve in the handle of the Big Dipper that points to the bright star Arcturus, NEOWISE will be streaking across the sky recognizable by its blue-green coma and whitish tail.

Credit: Dr. J. Ciotti, captures NEOWISE comet streaking across Oahu's sky 7/22/20
Pōniuāʻena,The Second-most Distant Quasar Ever Discovered

From its ancient past to the present Hawaii continues its legacy of contributing to the world's knowledge of the Universe through its eyes atop Maunakea. Most recently, Astronomers in Hawaii  discovered the second-most distant quasar ever found using three Maunakea Observatories: W. M. Keck Observatory, the international Gemini Observatory, a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab, and the University of Hawai‘i-owned United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT). It is the first quasar to receive an indigenous Hawaiian name, Pōniuāʻena, which means “unseen spinning source of creation, surrounded with brilliance” in the Hawaiian language.

Credit: International Gemini Observatory/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/P. Marenfeld

Quasars are the most energetic objects in the universe powered by their supermassive black holes and since their discovery, astronomers have been keen to determine when they first appeared in our cosmic history. By systematically searching for these rare objects in wide-area sky surveys, astronomers discovered the most distant quasar (named J1342+0928) in 2018 and now the second-most distant, Pōniuāʻena (or J1007+2115, at redshift 7.515). The light seen from Pōniuāʻena traveled through space for over 13 billion years since leaving the quasar just 700 million years after the Big Bang.

In honor of its discovery from atop Maunakea, 30 Hawaiian immersion school teachers named the quasar Pōniuāʻena through the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i’s A Hua He Inoa program led by renowned Hawaiian language expert Dr. Larry Kimura.

“We recognize there are different ways of knowing the universe,” said John O’Meara, chief scientist at Keck Observatory. “Pōniuāʻena is a wonderful example of interconnectedness between science and culture, with shared appreciation for how different knowledge systems enrich each other.”

“I am extremely grateful to be a part of this educational experience – it is a rare learning opportunity,” said Kauʻi Kaina, a high school Hawaiian immersion teacher from Kahuku, Oʻahu who was involved in the naming workshop. “Today it is relevant to apply these cultural values in order to further the well-being of the Hawaiian language beyond ordinary contexts such as in school, but also to ensure the language lives throughout the universe.”

Other celestial body discoveries named by A Hua He Inoa include asteroids ʻOumuamua, Kamoʻoalewa and Kaʻepaokaʻāwela, and the black hole, Pōwehi.


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
future dateTBD

Phantom of the Universe 
future date TBD

Stargazing with
Krissie Kellogg
future date TBD
future date TBD
Stars of the Pharaohs
future date TBD
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