By Jeneal Wood
The William M. Thomas Planetarium at Bakersfield College is presenting "Season of Light" starting Nov. 29, a show focusing on holiday traditions and holiday-themed astronomy.
The show begins with a tour of the evening sky using the planetarium's new Goto Chronos digital star projector, followed by Loch Ness Productions' "Season of Light," using Bakersfield College's Spitz SciDome projector, a dome video system.
"Season of Light" will give an account of the historical religious and cultural rituals practiced during the time of winter solstice, as well as other traditions: gift giving, Christmas songs and kissing under the mistletoe.
Planetarium Director Nick Strobel said the presentation "traces the history and development of many of the world's most endearing holiday customs."
"All of which involve lighting up the holiday season -- from the burning Yule log, sparkling Christmas tree lights, and candles in windows, to lighting the luminaries in the American southwest and the traditional ritual of the Menorah," Strobel said.
The astronomy part of the presentation will include a selection of Northern Hemisphere winter constellations, and audiences will discover why there are seasons by following the sun's path across the sky throughout the year.
The last quarter of the show will explain the history and mystery of the Star of Bethlehem.
"Season of Light" will run from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m. on Nov. 29 and Dec. 6 at the planetarium, math and science building Room 112, 1801 Panorama Drive.
Tickets are $6.50 for adults, and $4.50 for students and seniors. Children must be over the age of 5 to attend. Tickets will not be sold at the door.
To buy tickets, call the BC ticket office at 395-4326.
-- Jeneal Wood