• Auroras, Cosmic Rays, Shooting Stars, and Other Space Invaders

    Our atmosphere is constantly under attack from natural phenomena. Some of these attacks can lead to beautiful effects, like the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, and to what we commonly refer to as “shooting stars.” Other attacks result in invisible particles traveling right through our bodies without us even realizing it.

    Leonid meteor shower
    Woodcut image of the 1833 Leonid
    meteor shower. The Leonid meteor
    showers occur roughly every 33 years.

    So, what are the origins of these phenomena and how dangerous are they to us?

    On Tuesday, April 2, and Friday, April 5, Mt. Hood Community College Planetarium Director Pat Hanrahan presents “Auroras, Cosmic Rays, Shooting Stars, and Other Space Invaders” at 6 and 7:15 p.m. on both days. During the presentation, you’ll learn about the strange and wonderful experiences that result from interplanetary invaders smacking into our atmosphere.

    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.

    Aurora Borealis
    Aurora Borealis as seen from Hanford, Washington, in May 2017. Photo by Pat Hanrahan.