• Seeing the Invisible Universe

    The Andromeda Galaxy, as viewed from different forms of light. We typically see the galaxy through visible light (center image), but invisible forms of low show different pictures. Radio waves show the coldest areas, where new starts are forming, while X-ray emissions show the location of a giant black hole and other exotic sources. Photo by NASA.

    In recent years, we’ve made incredible discoveries in astronomy by viewing the sky outside the range of visible light. On the ground, we’ve built an array of radio telescopes designed to show us exactly how the universe’s new stars form and grow. We’ve launched telescopes into orbit around Earth that allow us to view space using other forms of light, forms typically absorbed by our atmosphere. The images that we’ve taken with these new telescopes – both on Earth and from space – have provided never-before-seen glimpses into our universe and led to important advancements in science.

    Join MHCC Planetarium Sky Theater Director Pat Hanrahan on Tuesday, Feb. 5, and Friday, Feb. 8, for an immersive presentation on “Seeing the Invisible Universe.” Showtimes at 6 and 7:15 p.m. on both dates. During the presentation, you’ll have the opportunity to view the entire night sky, as seen from different wavelengths (most of which are invisible to the human eye). Many of the images that you’ll see were taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, as well as other space telescopes around the world.

    Don't miss these upcoming shows in the Planetarium Sky Theater:

    February 5 and 8
    Seeing the Invisible Universe

    March 5 and 8
    What did NASA’s New Horizons Spacecraft Find Beyond Pluto?

    April 2 and 5
    Auroras, Cosmic Rays, Shooting Stars, and Other Space Invaders

    May 7 and 10
    Current Spacecraft Exploration by NASA/JPL and By Other Countries

    June 4 and 7
    Hubble’s Wonders From Almost 29 years in Space.

    All planetarium shows are at 6 and 7:15 p.m. For more information about the MHCC Planetarium, Visit mhcc.edu/Planetarium. Private showings for groups are also available on Fridays. Groups may request special subjects that they wish to have covered.

    If we all had gamma ray vision, none of the stars that we normally see in the night sky would be visible. Instead, we would see a whole new sky of star-like points representing very energetic objects (such as distant quasars). NASA connected these gamma ray dots to come up with some very imaginative constellations shown here. Photo by NASA.