• May Planetarium Preview: Icy Worlds: Is There Life Elsewhere Within Our Solar System?

    We have all heard how Earth is the only planet within our solar system that orbits inside the “Goldilocks Zone” – the habitable area around a star where life can flourish. However, some of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn have been discovered to potentially contain liquid-water oceans below their icy surfaces. These oceans could easily have volcanic activity on their seafloors, similar to those found in Earth’s oceans. On Earth, we have discovered abundant life near volcanic vents on the seafloor. Could life also exist – and possibly be thriving – in other planetary oceans?

    Join MHCC Planetarium Director Pat Hanrahan for “Icy Worlds: Is There Life Elsewhere Within Our Solar System?” on Tuesday, May 8, and Friday, May 11, with shows at 6 and 7:15 p.m. on both days. Hanrahan will show close-up images of these moons and also discuss what you'll see in the current night sky.

    Visitors are encouraged to ask questions during each 45-minute live program. Children are welcome to attend. The MHCC Planetarium is wheelchair accessible. Admission for the general public is $5, and $2 for children (17 and younger) and for MHCC students (identification required). Seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

    Enceladus Plume
    Saturn’s moon Enceladus, as imaged by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. Enceladus is an icy moon that appears to have a liquid ocean below its surface. This picture shows watery plumes being sent high above the moon, caused by the effects of tidal forces from orbiting Saturn.