The Stars at Night

by Suzanne DeLeon

As a new member of HCC (Honors Constituency Council) this spring, I found that going to Star Night was an extra special way to start the semester. Many years ago, my family and I were invited to the Planetarium to be part of the audience for the filming of the promo videos. We watched Pink Floyd and many other music productions. It was good. But Star Night was great!

Adrenalin Junkie is definitely a term used to describe me! Starting off Star Night with a ride on the Mercury roller coaster had my stomach doing flips more than any ride down the street at Six Flags. We flipped and swung from one end of the planet to the other in a ride that was truly awesome. I cannot wait to come back on a Sunday afternoon to ride all of the roller coasters, one on each planet!

Trevor Howard at the controls of the Digistar 4.

My favorite part of the night was seeing the stars over Arlington. Trevor Henry was our star guide and he had us laughing and learning at the same time. Never have I been able to locate certain constellations in the sky but with his very simple instruction and humorous drawings I was able to find and track where the constellations were.

My boys, age 11 and 9, also joined me on Star Night and loved the opportunity to learn where the constellations were located, something I had never been able to teach them. Upon arriving home to a dark night sky we immediately put our new knowledge into practice and sat back to gaze at the stars and find almost all the constellations we had just learned about. Keeping track of the stars and finding the constellations in the night sky will now be one of our regular activities.

You will never find me outfitted in scuba gear; my one great fear is ocean depths. Very odd for a former lifeguard, I know! Our last Planetarium viewing was of the Coral Reefs. For me this was a very special treat. Seeing the vast amount of sea life and beautiful fish that swarm over these reefs is truly breathtaking. I continue to be amazed at how intricate and beautiful life is even on such a small scale. And knowing that I will probably never have the opportunity to see this type of life up close gave unique meaning to watching it unfold on the vast domed ceiling of the Planetarium.

Star Night was a great night in my semester and I look forward to the other events being sponsored by the HCC, and hope to meet many more of you at these events. Come on out and have fun!