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November 2001

Release Date: November 26, 2001

Season of Lights Program Featured at ASU Planetarium

In the spirit of the holiday season, the Angelo State University Planetarium will highlight the winter solstice and some of the celestial events that have come down as part of our holiday lore and traditions with the showing of "Season of Lights," beginning Thursday, Nov. 29.

The show is scheduled at 8 p.m. Thursdays and at 2 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 13 in the ASU Planetarium in the Vincent Nursing-Physical Science Building at 2333 Vanderventer Ave.

"Season of Lights" recounts the historical, religious and cultural rituals practiced during the time of winter solstice. The program examines not only Christian and Jewish practices but also Celtic, Pagan, Nordic, Roman, Egyptian and Hopi rituals.

The program also looks at some of our more light-hearted seasonal traditions, ranging from gift giving and kissing under the mistletoe to songs about lords a-leaping and ladies dancing as well as the custom of decking the halls with greenery and candles. St. Nicholas, Sinterklaas, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas and Santa Claus all drop by as well during the program.

Naturally, "Season of Lights" includes astronomy's role, covering a few northern winter constellations and illustrating why we even have seasons with demonstrations of the Sun's path across the sky throughout the year and of the Earth's tilt and orbit around the Sun.

Additionally, the program explores the astronomical possibilities for a "Star over Bethlehem," including discussions of comets, meteors, novae and supernovae, and planetary conjunctions as possible explanations for the "star" reported by the Magi.

The program is narrated Noah Adams, host of National Public Radio's afternoon news program "All Things Considered."

Admission price for "Season of Lights" is $3 for adults and $1.50 for children, students and senior citizens. ASU students, faculty and staff are admitted free. For more information, please call 942-2136.