Tickets for planetarium shows and lectures may be purchased at the door on the evening of the show, or in advance at the SMC Theatre Arts Box Office (Theatre Arts Complex, SMC Main Campus; limited hours). Shows (except selected guest lectures) are held in the John Drescher Planetarium, located on SMC’s Main Campus in Drescher Hall Room 223. Admission to a single show or lecture is $6 ($5 seniors age 60+ and children age 12 and under). You can enjoy both the Night Sky Show and that evening’s scheduled Feature Show or Guest Lecture for the double-bill price of $11 ($9 seniors and children). For information, visit our the
Planetarium Website or call
(310) 434-3005. All shows subject to change or cancellation without notice.
The Night Sky Show
Our Digistar II planetarium projector recreates the celestial wonders of the ever-changing night sky—as you would see it far from city lights—in a 50-minute show updated weekly with the latest news in space exploration and astronomy. Bring the whole family to “tour” the constellations and ask questions about anything related to astronomy. The Night Sky Show costs $6 ($5 seniors age 60+ and children age 12 and under) and is presented on the following dates:
Fri, July 6, 13, 20, 27
Fri, August 3, 10
7 p.m. | Planetarium
Feature Shows & Guest Lectures
Planetarium Feature Shows and Guest Lectures are presented at 8 p.m. on Fridays when the Nightly Show is scheduled. For further information, please call (310) 434-4767. Admission is $6 ($5 seniors age 60+ and children age 12 and under).
Summer Deep Sky Wonders
The wonders of the summer sky show us star birth and death, the raw material of planetary formation, mature stars in tight spheres of a million or more, younger stars 40 in looser associations, and literally countless distant galaxies, each with billions of suns. We’ll look at beautiful images of some of the finest deep sky objects (DSOs), discuss what they seem to be telling us about our universe, and offer tips on where to go to view these beauties.
Fri, July 6 | 8 p.m. | Planetarium
Human Spaceflight Update
As the planned first flights of new American-crewed spacecraft approach, we will survey both the new “commercial” crew carriers from SpaceX and Boeing, and provide the latest details on flight schedules, which are likely to change between press time and this program. We will also cover the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle that NASA intends to use to send crews beyond low-Earth orbit in the early 2020s, Chinese space station activities, and the state of Russian space vehicle development.
Fri, July 13 | 8 p.m. | Planetarium
Special Observing Event: The Moon on the Anniversary of Apollo 11, Jupiter, and Saturn!
On the 49th anniversary of the first lunar landing, come look at the 8-day-old Moon and its Sea of Tranquility. Then take a look at Jupiter and its belts and moons, and at Saturn and its beautiful rings. We’ll begin in the planetarium, then head outside for viewing through telescopes with guidance from our planetarium director. Dress warmly!
Fri, July 20 | 8 p.m. | Planetarium
The Grand Canyon Star Party (GCSP) – a Volunteer’s Report
One of the Southwest’s premier astronomy outreach events is the annual Grand Canyon Star Party, with simultaneous events held on the North and South Rims of the Canyon. Get a firsthand report from Jim Mahon, our planetarium director, who attended the 2018 North Rim Party, and will try to convey the magic of sharing a dark summer sky above the stunning geology of the Canyon with visitors from all over the planet.
Fri, July 27 | 8pm | Planetarium
The Meteors of Summer: The Perseid Shower of August 2018
Peaking on the night of August 12-13, this year’s Perseid meteor shower will enjoy a sky free of moonlight, so a trip away from city lights should be a rewarding one for those willing to stay up after midnight for the peak of activity. We’ll discuss the nature of these “falling stars,” and provide tips for getting the best views. (Hint: Besides getting away from the glare of city lights, bring a comfy lounge chair and a warm beverage, and invite along some good friends and/or family!)
Fri, August 3, 10 | 8 p.m. | Planetarium