• MHCC's Planetarium Presents: A Tourist's Guide to the Moon

    Tuesday,  December 3  and  Friday,  December 6

    GRESHAM, Ore – On Tuesday, Dec. 3 and Friday, Dec. 6, Planetarium Director Pat Hanrahan will present A Tourist’s Guide to the Moon at the Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) Planetarium. Showtimes on both days are at 6 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.

    Marius Hills
    While photographing an area of volcanic activity on the moon (the Marius Hills), a Japanese spacecraft found this unusual pit. It is over 200 feet wide and descends into a large volcanic tunnel. Credit: NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Team

    The moon is one of the most interesting objects for us to see in the night sky because it is so close and has many fascinating characteristics for us to explore. Besides imagined features, such as the Man in the Moon and the Woman in the Moon, there are many natural landscapes to see, such as craters, mountains, lava channels and even volcanos. Many of these features can be found with amateur telescopes, but NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has sent us images with amazing detail. It orbited as low as 20 miles above the lunar surface and even showed the paths of the Apollo astronauts as they walked around their landing sites. Attendees will also receive an overview of the current night sky with Orion ruling along with his neighbors.

    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:

    December 3, 6 A Tourist’s Guide to our Moon
    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 web site 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.

    We never get to see the far side of the moon and its appearance is much different than the side that we always see. Not only is it almost absent of lunar "seas," it also has the largest, oldest and deepest impact basin recognized on the moon. This is the South Pole - Aitken Basin, which appears al the large shaded area that is found near the bottom of this photo. Credit: NASA