ORONO – The Emera Astronomy Center, located off the Rangeley Road at the University of Maine, will host the following star shows for the month of February:

Faster Than Light, Feb. 1. 8, 15 and 22, 7-8 p.m. – The impulse to strike out into the unknown, to see what’s over the horizon… is as old as humanity. Today, a whole new horizon beckons. Astronomers are racing to find habitable worlds, including any that might exist in the neighborhood of our Sun. But if we find one, how will we ever get there? How long will it take? What rocket designs might one day conquer the voids of space? Take a virtual ride aboard spacecraft of the future based on whole new technologies designed to achieve ultra‐high speeds, which might provide ways to travel to new worlds.

Earth, Moon & Sun, February 3, 10, 17 and 24, 2-3 p.m. – Earth Moon & Sun: Earth, Moon, & Sun is a fast-paced full dome demonstration of lunar phases, eclipses, day and night, the sun and other puzzling events with the help of a confused coyote. This program beautifully illustrates basic concepts like moon phases and seasons. Based on the trickster of Native American lore, Coyote is constantly corrected in his misunderstandings of how things work. A live tour of the Maine sky and its beautiful constellations completes this micro-unit of astronomy.

Cosmic Recipe, Feb. 5, 10-11 a.m. – The famous astronomer Carl Sagan once said: “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” Though that may sound crazy, Sagan was onto something BIG! Want to know what? Pull up a chair at our Planetarium’s Periodic Table and learn the cosmic recipes that created everything in our world – even us! Discover how the Big Bang cooked up everyday elements such as the calcium in our teeth, the silicon in our smart phones, and even the carbon in our apple pies in The Cosmic Recipe.

Polaris: Mystery of the Night, Feb. 19, 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.

Expedition Reef, Feb. 20, 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 Colors, Feb. 21, 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!

Science Lecture: “Harnessing the power of the ocean currents,” Dr. Lauren Ross, Feb. 21, 7-8 p.m. – How can we use currents to generate sustainable energy? What are the environmental impacts of doing so? Explore how tidal turbines can optimize energy extraction and understand how coastal environmental conditions are affected by the long-term implementation of tidal turbines. Learn how this research consider both the optimization of tidal turbine arrays and their impact on the environment which can be applied to tidal estuaries in Maine and the tidal energy potential to create sustainable power.

Cell! Cell! Cell!, Feb. 22, 2-3 p.m. – You are made of 70 trillion living cells. They work. They talk. They think. They are what make you alive. This is the story of the trillions of cells that form our bodies, from our beginnings as a single cell to the complexity of a whole body: it’s the story of who we are. Join Raj and Sooki on a totally ex-CELL-ent immersive journey. Get shrunk down by the Shrink-a-tron, go back in time with the Retroscope and see an exploded view of all the body systems courtesy of the Cell-o-tron. Find out how cool cells really are!

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 online at astro.umaine.edu, by phone at 207-581-1341, or at the ticket box office prior to the show.


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