December star shows at the Emera Astronomy Center

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ORONO – The Emera Astronomy Center, located off the Rangeley Road at the University of Maine, will hold the following star shows in the month of December:

Legends of the Night Sky – Orion, December 2, 9, 16, and 23, 2-3 p.m.: Take a fun and lighthearted look at the myths and stories associated with the constellation Orion, the great hunter of the winter sky. Orion comes to life in a fun-filled, animated accompanied by narrators Aesop the owl and Socrates the mouse as we follow Orion’s adventures as he grows to manhood, battles mythical beasts, foils the plot of an evil king and wins the heart of Artemis, the beautiful moon-goddess. We learn how the constellation Orion was placed in the sky, forever turning overhead throughout the seasons. The program includes a live sky lecture showing where Orion and his companions are located in the Winter Skies.

Mystery of the Christmas Star, December 2, 9, 16, and 23, 3:30-4:30 p.m.; Dec. 7, 14, and 21, 7-8 p.m.: Journey back 2000 years to Bethlehem as we seek to discover a scientific explanation for the Star the wise men followed to find the baby Jesus. Investigate possible dates for the birth of Christ and look at recorded sightings of significant historical and astronomical events during this timeframe. We’ll explore scientific explanations for celestial objects that could have been remarkable enough to cause the wise men to travel across the desert from Babylon to Bethlehem just to see a newborn King. Regardless of what the star was, the message of Peace on Earth and goodwill to all still rings true today!

Cell! Cell! Cell!, December 4, 10-11 a.m. You are made of 70 trillion living cells. They work. They talk. They think. They are what make you alive. This is the story of the trillions of cells that form our bodies, from our beginnings as a single cell to the complexity of a whole body: it’s the story of who we are. Join Raj and Sooki on a totally ex-CELL-ent immersive journey. Get shrunk down by the Shrink-a-tron, go back in time with the Retroscope and see an exploded view of all the body systems courtesy of the Cell-o-tron. Find out how cool cells really are!

Tickets for planetarium programs are $6 for Adults, $5 for UMaine Students/Veterans/Senior Citizens, and $4 for children under 12. Tickets may be purchased online at astro.umaine.edu,, by phone at 207-58101341, or at the ticket box office prior to the show.