MHCC Planetarium Presents ‘Mars Up Close and a Lunar Eclipse’ April 1

“Mars Up Close and a Lunar Eclipse” – that’s the title of the planetarium show, April 1, at Mt. Hood  Community College’s (MHCC) Sky Theatre.

Pat Hanrahan, Planetarium director, says, “April brings us two unusual astronomical events – the opportunity to see Mars at its best and a total eclipse of the moon. Because Mars will be directly opposite the sun from us, it will appear exceptionally bright. It has been more than two years since we have seen either of these types of events.”

A NASA view of Mars as it appears on the MHCC Planetarium dome. The new system allows us to inspect Mars from any angle and to zoom into its detailed features. (Source: NASA)

Hanrahan will use the college’s new projection system in his presentation to show how to spot Mars in the night sky, and provide a detailed tour of the planet’s surface. He will also show details of the upcoming eclipse and another opportunity to see one in October.

The Planetarium is located on the Gresham Campus beneath the library at 26000 S.E. Stark St. Show times are 6, 7:15 and 8:30 p.m. Parking on all MHCC campuses is free, no permit required.

Monthly Shows

Hanrahan presents shows the first Tuesday of each month. Visitors are encouraged to ask questions during each 45-minute program. Children are welcome to attend. The Planetarium is wheelchair accessible. Admission for the general public is $2 and free for MHCC students and employees (identification required). Because seating is limited and on a first come, first served basis, early arrival is suggested.

More information about the Planetarium is available at This includes scheduling private daytime shows on Fridays for groups (including clubs, senior groups and classrooms).

A NASA view of Mons Olympus as it appears on the MHCC Planetarium dome. This is the tallest mountain in the solar system and sits more than three times as high as Mount Everest. This is a shield volcano and has a gentle slope up its tall elevation. It is composed of multiple lava flows. (Source: NASA)

Individuals requiring accommodations due to a disability may contact the MHCC Disability Services Office at 503-491-6923 or  Please contact the office at least two weeks prior to the event to ensure availability.

For more information, media professionals may contact the Office of Community Engagement 503-491-7204 or

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 Last Modified: 3/13/2014 10:22:36 AM