ORONO – The Emera Astronomy Center, located off the Rangeley Road at the University of Maine, will hold the following star shows for the month of August.

Sesame Street: One World, One Sky – August 3, 2-3 p.m.:Explore the night sky with your favorite friends from Sesame Street in One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure. Follow along with Big Bird, Elmo and their friend from China, Hu Hu Zhu, as they take an imaginary trip from Sesame Street to the moon, where they discover how different it is from Earth. They explore the day and night sky, learn about the Big Dipper, the North Star, the Sun and the Moon. Along the way, they learn how the sky we see is shared by many people around the world. Children attending the show can interact as they watch, drawing constellations and counting the time it takes the sun to set.

Totality: Explore the Wonder of Eclipses – August 4, 11, 18, 25, 7-8- p.m, and August 21, 10-11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Explore the incredible phenomena of Eclipses, both Lunar and Solar. How and why do they occur? What can we observe and learn from these spectacular displays of nature? Take a look at how eclipses helped prove the theory of general relativity and look forward to upcoming eclipses learning where to see them. From spectacular space environments to the very human experiences that happen when you are caught in the shadow of the Moon and the Sun is plunged into a total solar eclipse, this program will help you understand these fascinating events. Take a special look at the August 21Total Solar Eclipse and future ones visible here in Maine. The program includes a tour of the night sky as viewed from Maine!

Polaris: Mystery of the Polar Night – August 6, 13, 20, 27, 2-3 p.m.: A traveling penguin from the South Pole and a funny polar bear from the North pole meet on arctic sea ice. They become friends observing the night sky together and wondering why night is so long at the poles of the Earth. This mystery leads them on a scientific adventure by building an improvised spaceship to travel around the Earth to learn about seasons, visit Mars and Saturn to learn about ice in the solar system and how planets have similarities and differences which make them unique.

Cosmic Journey – August 8, 2-3 p.m.: Volcanoes tower 80,000 feet above a barren surface. Monstrous hurricanes rage for 400 years. And multicolored rings sit suspended in space. In Cosmic Journey: A Solar system Adventure, you will travel through our solar system faster than the speed of light, taking in the wonders of the planets and their moons.

Cosmic Colors – August 10, 2-3 p.m.: From northern lights to garden flowers, color fills our lives and “Cosmic Colors” explains how we use the rainbow to see, understand and explore our universe. Visitors learn more about the electromagnetic spectrum, the Northern Lights and get a tour of the night sky!


Secret of the Cardboard Rocket – August 15, 2-3 p.m.: Join two children on a magical journey through the Solar System, aided by a talking astronomy book, a cardboard rocket, and a vivid imagination. During this imaginative show, audiences will land on Venus, fly through the rings of Saturn, and discover the secrets of the Solar System.

Little Star that Could – August 17, 2-3 p.m.: It’s hard to be a little star in a big universe! Join a medium sized, yellow star as he makes his way through space. In his travels, he meets many different types of stars and learns about some of the other things that make our universe so interesting. After meeting stars, nebulas, and galaxies, the little star takes a good look at himself and finds that he, too, is special. He has nine planets that depend on him for warmth and light. Along with the little star, audiences learn the ways each planet is special.

Solar Eclipse – August 21, 1-5 p.m: While here in Maine we will be unable to see a total solar eclipse, we will be able to see about 60 percent of the sun’s disk covered by the moon. These events are very rare to see without travel, so make sure to mark it on your calendar. The eclipse begins at approximately 1:35 p.m, and ends at approximately 3:55 pm. We will be hosting a free eclipse viewing event here at the Astronomy Center from 1-5 p.m. where we will have special solar telescopes, sun spotters, and special eclipse viewing glasses. Our staff will be on hand to explain the phenomena and help everyone see it safely. Unfortunately, this event is weather dependent, so if the sky is cloudy we will not be able to see it. NASA and many other organizations will be doing their own streaming events that you can watch online. Since the moon will not cover the entire sun from our vantage point in Maine, it is very important to not look directly at it at any point,as even a brief glimpse can cause severe eye damage. Special glasses/equipment are needed to protect your eyes. Normal sunglasses are not enough!

Black Holes – August 22, 2-3 p.m : The attraction of Black Holes is more than just gravitational. These mysterious graveyards of dead stars have fascinated generations. “Black Holes” explores the history, physics, and mystery of these reality-bending phenomena. Experience the bending of light, the skewing of perception, and the dizzying descent into a black hole.

Magic Treehouse: Space Mission – August 24, 2-3 p.m. Travel with the brother-sister duo, Jack and Annie, in their Magic Treehouse as they discover a note that asks them to answer a series of six questions about space. With the help of an astronomer, the Internet, an astronaut, books and the writer of the mysterious note, Jack and Annie are taken on a wondrous journey of adventure and learning. This exciting voyage will carry visitors to the planets and far out into the Universe where Jack and Annie nearly get…Well, we don’t want to give it away. The adventure is just beginning! Based on the popular book series by Mary Pope Osborne.

Asteroid: Mission Extreme – August 27, 12:30-1:30 p.m.: Asteroid: Mission Extreme takes audiences on an epic journey to discover how asteroids are both a danger and an opportunity. The danger lies in the possibility of a cataclysmic collision with Earth; the opportunity is the fascinating idea that asteroids could be stepping stones to other worlds – veritable way stations in space – enabling us to cross the Solar System. The challenges are enormous, but a mission so extreme could ultimately lead us to protect our planet and inhabit others. Explore what it would take for astronauts to reach an asteroid and how such an adventure could benefit humankind.


Dynamic Earth – August 27, 3:30-4:30 p.m.: Explore the inner workings of Earth’s climate system with visualizations based on satellite monitoring data and advanced supercomputer simulations. This exciting program follows a trail of energy that flows from the Sun into the interlocking systems that shape our climate: the atmosphere, oceans, and the biosphere. Audiences will ride along on swirling ocean and wind currents, dive into the heart of a monster hurricane, come face-to-face with sharks and gigantic whales, and fly into roiling volcanoes. We explore the relationship between Earth and the Sun, life and the carbon cycle, Earth’s climate control system, and how human activities are changing our planet. Come learn how dynamic planet Earth really is!

Astronaut – August 29, 2-3 p.m. The exploration of space is the greatest endeavor that humankind has ever undertaken. What does it take to be part of this incredible journey? What does it take to become an astronaut? Experience a rocket launch from inside the body of an astronaut. Explore the amazing worlds of inner and outer space, from floating around the International Space Station to maneuvering through microscopic regions of the human body. Discover the perils that lurk in space as we subject ‘Chad’, our test astronaut, to everything that space has to throw at him.

Life of Trees – August 31, 2-3 p.m. In The Life of Trees a cheeky ladybug called Dolores and a quirky firefly called Mike take the audience on an adventurous journey of exploration into the wondrous world of trees. Attend the Creepy Crawlies Educational Institution to find out how trees live and their importance to the wider environment.

On the excursion Delores and Mike zip around a tree, and in doing so, playfully learn its secrets: How do plants get their food from the Sun? How do they grow? How does water get from the roots to the top of the crown? And how does all this make life on our earth possible? The Life of Trees is a perfect planetarium show for the whole family that raises the awareness of protecting the natural environment in which we live.

Tickets for planetarium programs are $6 for Adults, $5 for UMaine Students/Veterans/Senior Citizens, and $4 for children under 12. Tickets may be purchased at astro.umaine.edu, by phone at 207.581.1341, or at our ticket box office prior to the show.

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