• MHCC's Planetarium Presents: "Latest Pictures Explore Jupiter and its Moons" on Tuesday, Jan. 7 and Friday, Jan. 10, 2020

    GRESHAM, Ore. – On Tuesday, Jan. 7 and Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, Planetarium Director Pat Hanrahan will present “Latest Pictures Explore Jupiter and its Moons” at the Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) Planetarium. Showtimes on both days are at 6 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.

    In July 2016, NASA’s Juno spacecraft arrived at Jupiter. Juno’s original mission plan did not include a camera, but at the public’s request, NASA added one at the last minute. JunoCam is now providing some of the most interesting pictures we have ever seen of Jupiter and NASA is depending on amateurs to process JunoCam’s images and their results, which are both scientifically valuable and artistic. Many of them may remind you of artwork by Vincent Van Gogh.

    Besides exploring Jupiter, Hanrahan will also cover the planet’s main moons. These moons include a fiery volcanic moon called Io and an icy moon called Europa. Europa is particularly interesting as it may host a liquid ocean under all that ice. Energy for melting the ice comes from Jupiter’s tidal forces and scientists feel that primitive life may even exist there.

    Admission is only $5 for adults. MHCC students (with valid ID) and children 17 and under are $2. All shows are presented under a realistic representation of the night sky, featuring the latest galactic, stellar and planetary images.

    The remaining 2019-2020 MHCC Planetarium schedule is as follows:

    January 7, 10 (2020)Latest Pictures Explore Jupiter and its Moons
    February 4, 7 (2020)Radio Astronomy Discoveries and Their Immense Instruments
    March 3, 6 (2020)Unusual Facts About Galaxies

    Additional shows will be held on:

    • April 7 and 10
    • May 5 and 8
    • June 2 and 5

    All shows for the remainder of the school year are scheduled for the first Tuesday of each month and the following Friday. 

    For more information about the planetarium, visit mhcc.edu/planetarium. This website also has information for reserving private planetarium showings for groups such as school classes, clubs and other groups. Groups may request special subjects that they wish to have covered.

    It should be noted that the Sky Theater is wheelchair accessible.

    NASA's Juno spacecraft is giving us the first detailed images of Jupiter's complex cloud structure near its south pole. Each of the circles and swirls represents intense storms that extend hundreds of miles deep. Juno's images of Jupiter are so beautiful that they are often compared to the artwork of Vincent Van Gogh. Credit: NASA