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Santa Monica College|Administration & College Governance|Marketing|Events|Planetarium Shows Lectures

Planetarium Shows Lectures


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 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, June 17, 24

Fri, July 8, 15, 22, 29

Fri, August 5, 12

7pm | Planetarium​



Feature Shows & Guest Lectures  

Planetarium Feature Shows and Guest Lectures are presented at 8 p.m. on Fridays when the Night Sky 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 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, June 17 | 8pm | Planetarium


Juno at Jupiter

NASA’s Juno spacecraft, launched in 2011, will arrive in Jupiter orbit on July 4th. This first solar-powered Jupiter mission aims to map the gravitational field, magnetosphere, and internal structure of the massive gas giant planet, and will feature a crowdsourced decision process on use of the imaging camera, a secondary payload aimed primarily at public outreach and education.

Fri, June 24 | 8pm | Planetarium

Special Observing Event:
Crescent Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn!

Take a look at the waxing crescent Moon near Jupiter in the western sky and, as twilight deepens, we’ll swing our telescopes eastward for a quick look at the tiny disk of Mars before checking out the evening’s showy finale, magnificent 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 8 | 8pm | Planetarium

The Grand Canyon Star Party (GCSP)
a Volunteer’s Report

One of the premier astronomy outreach events in the Southwest is the annual Grand Canyon Star Party, with simultaneous events held on the North and South Rims of the Canyon. Amateur astronomers from all over the USA volunteer to serve as Park Service outreach educators, bringing a wide variety of telescopes and personal styles to one of the most spectacular settings on Earth. Planetarium director Jim Mahon, who has attended the GCSP more than a dozen times, will present images and stories from the 2016 North Rim Party, and 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 15, 22 | 8pm | Planetarium

Gemini 10

Gemini 10: Reaching Higher

Our Project Gemini 50-year retrospective continues with a look at the July 1966 flight of Gemini 10, commanded by John Young, with pilot Mike Collins. Gemini 10—the first to use the Agena’s engine to boost the docked spacecraft into much higher orbits—set an altitude record and showed that spacewalk difficulties of the previous flight were not a fluke. NASA clearly had work to do on suits and equipment before heading for the Moon.

Fri, July 29 | 8pm | Planetarium

New Horizons at Pluto – One Year On

With a year elapsed since the dramatic flyby of Pluto by the New Horizons spacecraft, we should be roughly two-thirds of the way through the continuing download of the vast amounts of data and images collected during that encounter. We will survey the results published to date, which will include spectacular images that transformed our concept of Pluto from a dot of light or pixelated smudge in
an image to a newly-surveyed small world.

Fri, August 5, 12 | 8pm | Planetarium