Santa Monica College Planetarium
Thanks to the generosity and vision of the late John Drescher, Santa Monica College is the home to a computerized planetarium theater. At its heart is the Evans & Sutherland Digistar II planetarium projector, which was the first of its kind on the West Coast. Using digital technology, audiences can fly beyond the solar system and soar among the stars. We can transport you across our galaxy to the limits of spacetime or into the heart of the atom.
The Planetarium is currently closed for live events due to the COVID-19 crisis. See live virtual public programs below!
On Fridays, the Night Sky program begins at 7 p.m. and the Feature Program starts at 8 p.m.
Show descriptions: Public Shows
We also look forward to the expanded capabilities of the NEW planetarium SMC will be building in the not-too-distant future…Jim Mahon
Public Shows for detailed show descriptions.
SANTA MONICA, CA — Santa Monica College's John Drescher Planetarium continues its Friday evening events in August with free, live virtual shows presented online at smc.edu/planetarium. The special feature shows will highlight the Apollo mission, and present an update on NASA's human spaceflight programs.
The evening shows are at 8 p.m. and are preceded by a streamlined, virtual digest of the popular Night Sky Show at 7 p.m., offering the latest news in astronomy and space exploration, and the chance to ask astronomy-related questions.
The planetarium is exploring a variety of ways to present its shows while the Santa Monica College (SMC) campuses are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, the planetarium is using the Zoom platform. To attend the shows, the Zoom software version 5.0 or higher must be installed on the viewer's computer. A free download is available at zoom.com.
50-Year Retrospective: The Flights of Apollo: "After Apollo 13 – What Changed?" — Senior Lecturer Jim Mahon. After the return of Apollo 13 from its nearly-fatal mission, NASA faced the possibility of halting lunar missions if the causes and fixes for the actual accident were not quickly determined, with solutions put in place to give future missions greater safety margins. All this, at a time when NASA's budget started to shrink, had far-reaching effects on the number and types of lunar missions NASA was ultimately able to fly as Apollo came to an end in late 1972.
Friday, August 7th, 2020 at 7 p.m.
NASA Human Spaceflight Update — Senior Lecturer Jim Mahon. NASA had hoped to have flown crewed tests on both of the commercial crew vehicles for transport to the International Space Station by the date of this program, but has managed only one. The latest news will be discussed about the deep space Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle that is slowly moving toward test flight in 2021, human return to the vicinity of the Moon to assemble the Lunar Gateway, and other public and private efforts, some of which could potentially render some of NASA's plans moot.
Friday, August 14 & 21st, 2020 at 7 p.m.
More information is available online at smc.edu/planetarium or by calling
310-434-3005. Shows subject to change or cancellation without notice.
Shows will be presented live online for the foreseeable future.
All shows subject to change or cancellation without notice.
Drescher Hall, 2nd Floor
1900 Pico Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90405
The Drescher Planetarium is located in the middle of the second floor of Drescher Hall on the north side of the Santa Monica College campus. Drescher Hall is the three story brown building on the South East corner of Pico Blvd. and 17th Street. We are in beautiful Santa Monica, south of the 10 (Santa Monica) Freeway and west of the 405 (San Diego) Freeway.