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Mt. Hood Community College presentation reveals craters, mountains, lava channels and even volcanoes

COURTESY PHOTO: NASA LUNAR RECONNAISSANCE ORBITER TEAM - While photographing an area of volcanic activity on the moon (the Marius Hills), a Japanese spacecraft found this unusual pit on the lunar surface (at lower left), which is more than 200 feet wide and descends into a large volcanic tunnel.  Mt. Hood Community College Planetarium Director Pat Hanrahan will present "A Tourist's Guide to the Moon," at 6 and 7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 3, and Friday, Dec. 6, at the MHCC Sky Theater, 26000 S.E. Stark St., Gresham.

Hanrahan calls the moon "one of the most interesting objects for us to see in the night sky, as it is so close and has many very interesting features for us to explore.

"Besides imagined features as the 'Man in the Moon' and the 'Woman in the Moon,' there are many natural features such as craters, mountains, lava channels and even volcanoes," he said.

Many of these features can be found with amateur telescopes, but NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which orbited as low as 20 miles above the lunar surface and even showed the paths of Apollo astronauts as they walked around their landing sites, has sent images rife with amazing detail.

In addition to moon images, Hanrahan also will show the current night sky with Orion ruling over the December sky along with its neighbors.

Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for MHCC students (with valid ID) and children 17 and younger.COURTESY PHOTO: NASA - The far side of the moon is among the images one can see during A Tourists Guide to the Moon presentation Tuesday, Dec. 6, and Friday, Dec. 6 .

All shows are presented under a realistic representation of the night sky, featuring the latest galactic, stellar and planetary images.

For more information, including how to reserve the plantetarium for private showings, visit

MHCC Sky Theater is wheelchair accessible.

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