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

Starry Heavens Newsletter
September 2022

Playing in September at the Imaginarium

The Imaginarium kicks off the month with a  double feature on Friday, September 2, at 7:00p.m. Black Holes and Dark. At 8:15p.m. see a new show to the Imaginarium lineup Distant Worlds - Alien Life?

"Are we gonna see a black hole?" is the most asked question of youngsters coming to the Imaginarium. Black holes are the most mystifying, awe-inspiring phenomenon and this show will take you on an immersive journey into this phenomena. The second feature, Dark, poses the question of what keeps the galaxies together? What are the building blocks of the Universe? What makes the Universe look the way it does today? Dark – Explains and explores the nature of Dark Matter –  80% of the Universe's invisible mass.
At 8:15p.m. we look at the second most asked question at the Imaginarium by youngsters – “Are there Aliens?" Distant Worlds — Alien Life? is a beautiful planetarium film exploring one of the most enduring questions of humankind — are we alone? For millennia our ancestors watched the stars, questioning the origin and nature of what they saw. Still today we ask these questions, knowing that the Universe is a vast place filled with billions and billions of stars and planets — but yet, Earth is the only planet we know for sure to be inhabited.

Wednesday September 14, at 7p.m. Krissie Kellogg, will host Stargazing weaving together science and the classical Greek and Roman star lore.

We wind up the month on Saturday, September 24, with: One World, One Sky at 1:00p.m. This show targets our youngest patrons with favorite characters from Sesame Street, Elmo and Big Bird, showing their friend from China how to find the "Big Dipper" and the North Star. At 2:15 p.m. another Disney like show loved by the very young and those young at heart, tells the tale of an endangered enchanted reef - Kaluokahina - and the role the Moon plays in protecting it.
Artemis in pursuit of her brother? . . .

NASA postponed the highly anticipated August 29 Artemis launch after issues emerged during countdown, delaying the debut of its towering rocket and its long-awaited mission to the moon.

The delay revolved around  a temperature problem identified with one of the four liquid-fueled engines.The agency has backup launch dates scheduled for Sept. 2 and Sept. 5, but officials can't say whether the engine issue will be fixed before either of those dates. Weather could also be a factor in determining launch dates since the first two weeks of September typically pose hurricane weather issues. Regardless, we will be patiently waiting for her debut.

It’s been over fifty years since the Apollo missions to the Moon but Artemis is about to change that.
Although no human crew will be on board, the Artemis I launch is nonetheless the first step in the Artemis program to return humans to the Moon and eventually to Mars.


If you’re familiar with NASA traditions, you know how important mission patches are to each program and crew. A painstaking amount of thought and planning goes into the design and meaning behind each emblem, including the new Artemis Program identity.

This summer NASA unveiled the Artemis program logo, a bold look that embodies the determination of the men and women who will carry NASA’s missions forward. Named after the mythological Greek goddess of the Moon who was also the twin sister of Apollo, the Artemis Program aims to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024.

This new identity draws inspiration from the Apollo program logo and mission patch. Using an “A” as the primary visual and a trajectory from Earth to the Moon, we honor all that the Apollo program achieved. However, through Artemis we will forge our own path, pursue lunar exploration like never before, and pave the way. As the “torch bringer,” literally and figuratively, Artemis will light our way to Mars.

The A symbolizes an arrowhead from Artemis’ quiver and represents launch.The tip of the A of Artemis points beyond the Moon and signifies that our efforts at the Moon are not the conclusion, but rather the preparation for all that lies beyond.
The crescent of the Earth at the bottom shows missions from humanity’s perspective. From Earth we go. Back to Earth all that we learn and develop will return. This crescent also visualizes Artemis’ bow as the source from which all energy and effort is sent.The trajectory moves from left to right through the crossbar of the “A” opposite that of Apollo. Thus highlighting the distinct differences in our return to the Moon. The trajectory is red to symbolize our path to Mars.

Upon launch the Artemis I Orion spacecraft will enter a distant retrograde orbit of the moon to travel 40,000 miles beyond it, going further than any spacecraft intended to carry humans. Orion's journey will last 42 days as it travels to the moon, loops around it and returns to Earth -- traveling a total of 1.3 million miles (2.1 million kilometers). The anticipated splash down of the capsule will be in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Diego.
Crews will ride aboard Artemis II on a similar flyby trajectory in 2024.

The first woman and the next man to land on the moon are slated to arrive at the lunar south pole in late 2025 on the Artemis III mission.
Black Holes – Who knew they made noise??!!

Did you, like me, think black holes were huge awesomely scary and ominously silent anomalies in space. NEWS FLASH  - NASA has found out that black holes make noise and captured the soundwaves of a black hole more than 200 million light-years away from us in the center of what’s known as the Perseus galaxy cluster, which is a majestic 11 million-light-years-wide.
The misconception that there is no sound in space originates because most space is a ~vacuum, providing no way for sound waves to travel. However, the Perseus galaxy cluster is a giant gas cloud, which allowed scientists to capture the sound ripples of the hot gases around the black hole.

Human ears can’t pick up sound ripples, but NASA’s equipment can, which allows scientists to scale the sound in such a way that it is possible to hear what a black hole sounds like. Take a listen. If you want to learn more about Black Holes come to the Imaginarium Friday September 2, at 7p.m. for a double feature – Black Holes and Dark.

Jupiter has a new color palette thanks to The Webb

From a rosy terracotta color with a big red spot to an Earth-like blue with a big white spot, gorgeous auroras and rings as elegant as Saturn’s – Jupiter has a new look thanks to NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, which has captured new images of the planet.

Picture credit NASA, ESA, CSA Jupiter ERS Team; image processing Judy Schmidt

The images seen here come from the Paris observatory’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam), which has three specialized infrared filters that showcase details of the planet. Since infrared light is invisible to the human eye, the light has been mapped onto the visible spectrum. Generally, the longest wavelengths appear redder and the shortest wavelengths are shown as blue. Webb scientists, an international collaboration for Webb’s Early Release Science Program, collaborated with citizen scientist Judy Schmidt to translate the Webb data into images. 

In the standalone view of Jupiter, created from a composite of several images from Webb, auroras extend to high altitudes above both the northern and southern poles of Jupiter. The auroras shine in a filter that is mapped to redder colors, which also highlights light reflected from lower clouds and upper hazes. A different filter, mapped to yellows and greens, shows hazes swirling around the northern and southern poles. A third filter, mapped to blues, showcases light that is reflected from a deeper main cloud.  

Picture credit NASA, ESA, CSA Jupiter ERS Team; image processing Judy Schmidt

The Great Red Spot, a famous storm so big it could swallow Earth, appears white in these views, as do other clouds, because they are reflecting a lot of sunlight. 

“The brightness here indicates high altitude – so the Great Red Spot has high-altitude hazes, as does the equatorial region. The numerous bright white ‘spots’ and ‘streaks’ are likely very high-altitude cloud tops of condensed convective storms. By contrast, dark ribbons north of the equatorial region have little cloud cover.  
Project Imua Did It Again
(originally reported by Kelli Abe Trifonovitch for UH News but it bears repeating)

(Photo credit: Professor Joe Ciotti)

Launching a 44-foot NASA sounding rocket from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia at 12:08p.m. HST August 11, 2022. The payload carried a scientific experiment designed by University of Hawaii Windward and Honolulu Community College students about 99 miles into space.

Project Imua is a joint faculty-student enterprise of multiple UH Community College campuses in affiliation with the Hawaiʻi Space Grant Consortium that provides students with real-world, project-based learning opportunities. Students from Windward CC and Honolulu CC had been working on Project Imua Mission 10 for months and were delighted to see their “baby” finally take flight.
Windward CC students designed and built a camphor-powered sublimation rocket that was deployed at the peak of the NASA rocket’s flight—at approximately 99 miles altitude. The Honolulu CC team designed a camera system and inertial measurement unit devices to monitor the sublimation rocket’s motion.ScubeR is visible in the bottom middle of the photo immediately after its deployment from the payload deck. On the left edge near the bottom is a red ball that was released from the experiment below the deck. In line between ScubeR and the red ball —  but closer to ScubeR — is the sounding rocket’s second stage and cylindrical skirt falling back to earth.  
photo credit: Project Imua Mission 10

A WindwardCC student, said, “The launch was an amazing spectacle that served as a crowning achievement for the scientific endeavors of Project Imua.”Project Imua provided hands-on rocketry experience both in Hawaiʻi and at NASA. In June, two students traveled to the Wallops facility to run final tests on their Project Imua payload.

A few days prior to the launch, the rest of the Project Imua team was in Virginia for fine tuning and final integration.
“The hands-on, authentic research conducted by our UH Community College students challenges them to set their sights on lofty goals, while building the demanding skills required in high-tech, STEM careers,” said Project Manager Joe Ciotti, a Windward CC professor. “They’ve learned through their intense year-long collaboration with NASA engineers that, when it comes to dreams and achievements, the sky’s the limit.”

After reaching its peak, the payload carrying the experiments descended by parachute and landed in the Atlantic Ocean, off the Virginia coast. Plans were for the students to receive their flown experiments and any stored data after the payload was recovered from the ocean.

More Project Imua missions are scheduled to fly for UH’s future rocket scientists.

From left, Joe Ciotti, Quinn-Patrick O’Malley, Caleb Yuen, Frank Bolanos, IV, Jared Estrada and Shidong Kan
More to see in our September Sky (All times are HST)
  • September 6Mars near Aldebaran (blood shot eye of Taurus) 12:15a.m.-5:45a.m.
  • September 7,  6:30p.m.-4a.m. Conjunction of Moon and Saturn 5 degrees apart
  • September 9, Full Moon 11:59p.m
  • September 10, Conjunction of Moon-Jupiter (2.1degrees apart) 7:45p.m.-6:00a.m.
  • September 15, Conjunction of Moon and Mars (5.3 degrees apart) 11:15p.m.-6:00a.m.
  • September 22, Autumnal Equinox 3:03p.m.
  • September 30, Fall Equilux sunrise 6:21:20a.m.; sunset 6:21:11p.m.
Check out our Celestial Events calendar for more.
  • Reservations are recommended but no longer required.
  • Masks are recommended
  • Proof of  vaccination and a photo ID are no longer required.
  • Please call 808-235-7350 for reservations.
  • Better yet email
  • Payment will be made on the day of the show at the ticket booth.
  • No credit card payments are taken. CASH or CHECK ONLY
For 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

Black Holes
double feature
Friday, September 2,


double feature
Friday,  September 2,


Distant Worlds- Alien Life?
Friday, September 2,

with Krissie Kellogg
Wed., September 14,
One World, One Sky:
Big Bird's Adventure
Saturday, September 24,


Saturday, September 24,


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