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

Mexica Archaeoastronomy: Between Space and Time, March 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29, 7-8 p.m.: Through impressive immersive scenarios, Mexica Archaeoastronomy: Between Space and Time illustrates the important role played by astronomical observation for the evolution of pre-Hispanic cultures in central Mexico. The Mexicas used the calendrical and astronomical knowledge inherited by their predecessor cultures to found the capital of their empire: Tenochtitlan. Vibrant colors, shapes and sounds transport the viewer to one of the most important cultures that, to this day, still lives in the heart and skin of the Mexican people. The program includes a tour of the night sky and an update on latest astronomy news.

Imagine Dragons Experience, March 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29, 9-10 p.m.: The Imagine Dragons Experience features a mix of music from Smoke+Mirrors, Evolve, Night Visions, and Origins set to stunning visuals and artistic interpretation. Experience a wild, auditory ride through one of today’s most seminal bands in a new way at Emera Astronomy Center!

Tickets are $8 for general admission.

Music programs may contain explicit lyrics, and are intended for adult audiences. All music programs may contain bright flashing lights and fast-moving images, which have been known to trigger seizures with those with photosensitive epilepsy. Viewer discretion is advised.

Secret of the Cardboard Rocket, March 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31, 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.


Phantom of the Universe, March 17, 12:30-1:30 p.m.: From the journey of protons racing through the world’s largest particle collider to up-close views of the Big Bang and emergent universe, and the nearly mile-deep descent to an underground experiment, Phantom of the Universe immerses audiences in the search for dark matter. Explore this mysterious matter and how we are using discoveries at the Large Hadron Collider to get closer to discovering the true nature of Dark Matter. View the first hints of its existence through the eyes of Fritz Zwicky, the scientist who coined the term “dark matter.” Explore the astral choreography witnessed by Vera Rubin in the Andromeda galaxy, and then plummet deep underground to see the most sensitive dark matter detector on Earth, housed in a former gold mine. Speed alongside particles before they collide in visually stunning explosions of light and sound at Large Hadron Collider at CERN, while learning how scientists around the world are collaborating to track down the constituents of dark matter. Executive Producer Michael Barnett of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory served as an advisor to PBS’s NOVA series Elegant Universe and the feature film Angels & Demons. Featuring narration by Academy-Award winning actress Tilda Swinton, Phantom of the Universe showcases imagery from CERN’s Media Lab.

Out There: The Quest for Extrasolar Worlds, March 17, 3:30-4:30 p.m.: For thousands of years, mankind thought that the Earth was the center of the Universe. Thanks to our curiosity, imagination and urge to explore, we now know that planets like our Earth are nothing special in the cosmos. The Sun is just one ordinary star among hundreds of billions in our galaxy, the Milky Way. With the world’s most powerful telescopes, we are able to explore more and more of the Universe. What we have found so far has surpassed even the wildest expectations of scientists as well as authors of science fiction. Most stars have planets — it turns out they are more common than we thought. A huge diversity of different worlds is out there, just waiting to be discovered. Join as we explore these new worlds!

Science Lecture Series: Dr. Alex Friess, March 21, 7-8 p.m.: While spectator sports such as the Olympics, the America’s Cup, and World Championships celebrate the achievement of world class athletes, their peak performance is often made possible by engineers that design and optimize their equipment and training. This involvement is critical in any sport (one must only think of the advanced swimming suits to reduce drag, or golf balls that fly farther than others), and is particularly noteworthy in sports that utilize sophisticated equipment, such as car and yacht races. Explore the role of engineering in sports and the benefits it yields. Dr. Alex Friess is an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maine. His research revolve around Engineering design, with applications in aerodynamics, energy, and sports, as well as engineering education. He received a Ph.D. in Aeronautical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he researched the position and equipment of the US Speed Skiing team, and has been active as design engineer and consultant for over 10 years in Europe and Africa, where he participated in the first South African America’s Cup Challenge. Dr. Friess’ came to Maine following five years of academic activities in Dubai, where he participated as inaugural professor in the startup of two Universities.

Tickets for planetarium programs are $6 for Adults, $5 for UMaine Students/Veterans/Senior Citizens, and $4 for children under 12. Tickets are available online at http://astro.umaine.edu, by calling 581-1341, or at the box office.

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