Celebrate the winter season with shows at the Cernan Center

The winter season is among us. And as we prepare to celebrate the season, other cultures around the world are preparing to do the same.

Through Dec. 30, learn how different cultures celebrate winter in "Celebrations of Winter," a multimedia program coming to the Cernan Earth and Space Center in December. The program, in addition to an array of new and favorite shows, will inform and entertain families on astronomy at the planetarium located on the campus of Triton College in River Grove. The family-friendly shows will play on Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons and are open to the public.

The following shows are set to play at the Cernan Earth and Space Center from Nov. 30 through Dec. 30:

Earth & Sky Shows

Celebrations of Winter. This is a multimedia program that uses slides, panoramic scenes, video, a C-360 wraparound film segment and a variety of special effects to illustrate how different cultures throughout the world celebrate the winter season. 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays*

Skywatcher's Guide mini show. This series of monthly shows that changes frequently with up-to-date information shows what's happening in the current sky. 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays*

*Please note on Saturday, Dec. 22, the 7:30 p.m. Saturday evening shows will be replaced by the Monthly Skywatch. (See below for details.)

Laser Concerts

Winter Wonderlight laser show. This laser show, suitable for all ages, features music and images related to the holiday season, including "Jingle Bells," "Deck the Halls," and "Grandma Got Ran Over By a Reindeer." 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays

PopRock 2 mini laser show. This show features a sampling of songs from the Cernan Center's collection of laser light shows. 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays

Children's Shows (best for children from preschool through second grade)

Our Place in Space. Hosted by several animal characters, this show explores the causes of day and night, the importance of the sun, the beauty of the constellations and the variety of objects in the universe. 2 p.m. Sundays

Holiday mini laser show. This excerpt from the Cernan Center's holiday laser show features four holiday classics. 2 p.m. Sundays

Sunday Sampler - A special holiday family program will begin at 3 p.m. on Sundays. The program will include Celebrations of Winter, the Skywatcher's Guide mini show and the Holiday mini laser show.

Admission for the Earth & Sky Shows, Children's Shows and Sunday Sampler/holiday family program is $8 for adults and $4 for children ages 2 to 12 and senior citizens ages 55 and older. Admission for the laser light shows (9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays) is $10 for adults and $5 for children and senior citizens. Children under age 2 and Triton College students with a current semester ID are free.

The Cernan Center will be closed from Dec. 24-27 and from Dec. 31 through Jan. 1. The Cernan Center office will also be closed during the daytime hours on Friday, Dec. 28.

The show schedule is subject to change. Please call the Program Line at (708) 583-3100 for up-to-the-minute information before attending a show.


Indoor/outdoor fun with Monthly Skywatch Program at Cernan Center

Take a tour of the nighttime sky on Saturday, Dec. 22, at Cernan Earth and Space Center's Monthly Skywatch program and enjoy indoor and outdoor activities that pertain to various earth- and space-related subjects. The event is open to the public.

A planetarium program in the space center's dome theater kicks off the evening at 7:30 with a presentation on NASA's plans for space flights and the latest discoveries and highlights in astronomy. A segment of a particular celestial object placed for viewing during November will also be shown. 

Following the planetarium program, the Monthly Skywatch will convene on the lawn in front of the Cernan, weather permitting, to observe the wonders of the sky through telescopes. Cernan staff members and volunteers will be on hand to offer their telescopes and expertise to those in attendance. At the Dec. 22 Monthly Skywatch, these telescopes will be trained on the planet Jupiter, which will be just past its closest approach to Earth for 2012, as well as the waxing gibbous moon and perhaps an assortment of star clusters and double stars.

Admission for the indoor planetarium portion of the Monthly Skywatch is $8 for adults and $4 for children ages 2 to 12 and senior citizens ages 55 and older. The outdoor telescope session is free.

The show is recommended for ages 13 and older due to the advanced level of scientific information that will be presented during the program.

For more information about the Cernan Center, its programs, field trips or events, call (708) 456-0300, ext. 3372 or e-mail cernan@triton.edu. Please call the Program Line at (708) 583-3100 for up-to-the-minute information before attending.

Visit the Cernan Center's website at www.triton.edu/cernan or shop its Yahoo! Store at http://store.cernanstore.com/.

Located on the campus of Triton College in River Grove, Ill., the Cernan Earth and Space Center houses a 100-seat dome theater, featuring star-filled planetarium shows, wraparound films, children's shows and laser light shows, along with a Space Hall and Star Store gift shop. The center is open seven days a week.