The god Set is pictured in the new planetarium show "Stars of the Pharaohs."
‘Pharaohs’ stars at the planetarium
Learn how the ancient Egyptians used the stars to guide their journeys and create an accurate calendar at the Imaginarium's "Stars of the Pharaohs," opening next month.
'Stars of the Pharaohs'
On view: Opens Feb. 9 and shows at 7 p.m. on the second Friday of each month through the spring semester
Place: Imaginarium, Windward Community College
Admission: $5; $4 students, military, seniors; $3 children
Stargazing: 7 p.m. second Wednesday of each month; a live show focusing on current events. Cost is $3.
"Sky Pirates" Family Night: 7 p.m. fourth Friday of each month. Captured by pirates, the audience journeys through space trying to escape and return to the sky the constellations stolen by the pirates. Cost is $5; $4 students, military and seniors; $3 children.
The planetarium show uses multimedia projectors to re-enact the mythical creation of the Egyptian universe, demonstrating how the sun, Orion and the ancient Pole Star were used to align their temples and pyramids.
The audience is taken back 6,000 years to learn about the Egyptian constellations, said Joe Ciotti, director of the Hokulani Imaginarium, Center for Aerospace Education. The show is for grade 4 and up.
"I'm fascinated by the ancient culture and how much they were able to uncover with the technology they had at the time," said Ciotti. The ancient Egyptians devised the earliest calendar, based on the rising of the star Sirius and its ability to predict the annual flooding of the Nile River, he explained.
Julius Caesar later adopted the Egyptian calendar, which already included a leap year, because the Roman calendar was inaccurate and the seasons were slipping, Ciotti said.
"Stars of the Pharaohs" was produced by the Buhl Planetarium in Pittsburgh and was modified by the Imaginarium to include visually rich graphics from the computer graphics firm Evans and Sutherland.
"The artwork is very colorful," Ciotti added. "The Egyptians used colors that make you think about the desert area, which was appropriate to the landscape."