• The Treasures of Orion and His Neighbors

    As winter approaches, the constellation Orion is returning to dominate the night sky. The easily identifiable Orion features many objects in and around it. Not only will you find areas of intense new star formation near Orion, you can see clusters of extremely hot stars, beautiful glowing gas clouds, evidence of violent star deaths, and much more.

    The Hubble Space Telescope and other telescopes have studied the areas in and around Orion for many years. Mt. Hood Community College’s December planetarium show, “Treasures of Orion and His Neighbors,” will provide a glimpse into some of the better images collected over the years. Showings held on Tuesday, Dec. 4, and Friday, Dec. 7, at 6 and 7:15 p.m. on both dates. There are no Friday matinee shows as may have been previously announced.

    MHCC Planetarium Director Pat Hanrahan will also point out other celestial objects in the night sky and note where to find them. 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. For more information about the planetarium, visit mhcc.edu/planetarium.

    The Rosette Nebula is a place of intense star formation. In the center of this image, you can see a cluster of new stars giving off strong radiation. Solar winds have cleared out a hole in this 130-light-year-wide gas cloud. It can be found in the faint constellation of the Unicorn, located to the left of Orion.