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ASU Planetarium Presents Holiday ‘Season of Light’

November 24, 2010

The historical, religious and cultural rituals of the winter solstice will be the focus of the holiday astronomy program “Season of Light” beginning Thursday, Dec. 2, in the Angelo State University Planetarium.

Through grant funding from the San Angelo Standard-Times, the Planetarium will be featuring the full-dome version of ASUs traditional holiday presentation for the first time.

Show times will be at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, Dec. 2-17, and at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturdays, Dec. 4, 11 and 18. The Planetarium is located in the ASU Vincent Nursing-Physical Science Building, 2333 Vanderventer St.

“Season of Light” will examine Celtic, pagan, Nordic, Roman, Egyptian and Hopi solstice rituals along with Jewish and Christian practices, including the possible astronomical explanations for the “Star of Bethlehem.”

The program will also explore some of the more light-hearted seasonal traditions, like gift giving, kissing under the mistletoe, decking the halls with greenery and candles, and songs about lords a-leaping and ladies dancing. The legends and customs of St. Nicholas, Sinterklaas, Kris Kringle and Father Christmas will be explained while Santa Claus drops in for a visit.

The astronomy of the holiday season will be highlighted by winter constellations, comets, meteors, novae, supernovae and an explanation of why we have seasons. The program is narrated by Noah Adams, host of National Public Radio’s afternoon news program, “All Things Considered.”

“Season of Light” is open to the public with admission prices of $3 for adults and $2 for children, non-ASU students, active duty military and senior citizens. ASU students, faculty and staff are admitted free.

For more information, contact Dr. Mark Sonntag at the Planetarium, 942-2136.