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

Starry Heavens Newsletter
September 2020

Aloha Kakou
Thank you to everyone who continues to read the newsletter and check out our website. We are continuing to develop some new tools to add to our website that  include online video demonstrations and brief discussions of the science toys in the Aerospace Exploration Lab, constellation star stories, stargazing podcasts and Hokulani Night Sky videos. 

Go to our home page and click on Hokulani Online Resources.  You will see  on the left a drop down menu of Hokulani At Home,  Hands on Science , Stargazing Podcast, Virtual Tours and Star Stories..

Houkulani at Home includes additional videos that describe how to Navigate the Virtual Sky as well as astronomical events such as the upcoming Equinox. The Hands on Science tab includes videos that speak to the science of the low technology toys and gadgets found in the Aerospace Exploration Lab such as a demonstration of the four forces in flight, the scientific laws and theories demonstrated in Newton's Cradle and a brief discussion of the scientific method.  The Stargazing Podcast features our ever popular naked eye astronomer Krissie Kellogg who weaves the science of the sky with the mythology of the constellations. The Virtual Tours tab reveals many photos and brief descriptions of the models that are present in the lab as well as other locations of the CAE. The Star Stories tab is a work in progress but in the near future will contain short power point movies of constellation stories from Hawaii, Asia and Polynesia.

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.

Fall Equinox, September 22 -

So here is a question for you. Does it seem like time has flown by and it is fall already? Or, does it feel like this year has plodded along at a snail’s pace? Regardless of where you land on that question, the fact is the Fall Equinox is upon us September 22.

The autumnal equinox—also called the September or fall equinox—is the astronomical start of the fall season in the Northern Hemisphere and the spring season in the Southern Hemisphere. The word “equinox” comes from Latin aequus, meaning “equal,” and nox, “night.” On the equinox, day and night are roughly equal in terms of length. Equilux is when there is precisely equal day and equal night and that depends where you live.

On the equinox, the center of the Sun is indeed above the horizon for 12 hours. However, “sunrise” is said to begin when the upper edge of the Sun’s disk becomes visible above the horizon (which happens a bit before the center rises) and ends when the entire Sun has set. In this case, daylight is still a bit longer than nighttime. Not only that, but the Sun is actually visible when it is below the horizon, as Earth’s atmosphere refracts the Sun’s rays and bends them in an arc over the horizon. Yes, you can see the Sun before the edge actually reaches the horizon! This causes daylight to be longer than 12 hours as well.

During the equinox, the Sun crosses what we call the “celestial equator”—an imaginary extension into space of Earth’s equator line. The equinox occurs precisely when the Sun’s center passes through this line. When the Sun crosses the equator from north to south, this marks the autumnal equinox.

Locations that are not on the equator do get to experience equal day and night twice a year, usually a few days before or after the equinoxes. The dates for this event, which is also known as equilux, depend on a location's latitude – those closer to the Equator celebrate it a few days before the equinox. In Hawaii the fall equilux will occur Sept 27 at 6:22a.m.

 Buckle Up Folks - Space Tourism on the Horizon

It may seem like old news that Hurley and Behnken launched on the SpaceX Dragon capsule, nicknamed Endeavour, from Kennedy Space Center on May 30, arrived on the International Space Station the next day and returned to home sweet home August 2, 2020.

Everyone loves a good launch and a good Splash Down. The launch marked the first human spaceflight from Florida’s coast in nearly nine years and the first spacecraft splashdown in 45 years. What took so long??

When the world watched Neil Armstrong take that one small step onto the lunar surface over 50 years ago, some people thought a new industry was just around the corner. It seems it was a pretty long corner, but more and more space is becoming an integral part of daily life on Earth. Today, a robust commercial space industry is taking off with huge economic potential.  Just check out the job postings for SPACEX in California and Texas. Whether or not people know it, all companies will soon be space companies and all consumers use space-based technology each and every day. 

Some of the examples of the commercial space industry are dramatic. Leading corporations and billionaire entrepreneurs are determined to make space tourism a reality – and getting closer every day. Towards that effort a big step forward in opening the Space Station to commercial vacation opportunities is a habitable commercial module that will be added to the ISS.

Axiom_Space of Houston is the Houston based company that will provide at least one habitable commercial module. The International Space Station is becoming one of the busier, dare I say, hotels. I guess if you need to quarantine at a hotel might as well make it an out of this world experience.  The "space home" will allow the first ISS tourists to enjoy views from the "largest Earth window" - a 360 degree viewing platform that protrudes from the bottom of the Axiom Segment

Start saving now or extend the credit line on your credit card as the cost of a ten day “space holiday” will have a $55 million dollar price tag that does not include completing an on-the-ground training course which will cost an additional one million dollars.

If you don’t have $56 million for a trip to the ISS, how about Virgin Galactic’s flights to the edge of space to experience microgravity, which are expected to begin in 2021 for a mere $250K and will include Under Armour designed spacewear. "Holy Star Trek!", Batman.

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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