The Santa Monica College John Drescher Planetarium invites the community to find out about star parties, check out the Moon, and (maybe) Saturn through telescopes, and find out what’s going on with the Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn.
The two feature shows and the evening telescope viewing session – as well as the popular Night Sky Show – will be held on Friday evenings.
The evening events are at 8 pm and preceded by “The Night Sky Show” at 7 pm, offering the latest news in astronomy and space exploration, a family-friendly “tour” of the constellations, and the chance to ask astronomy-related questions.
The May planetarium events are:
• Special Observing Event: 10-Day-Old Moon, Tiny Mars, and Maybe a Peek at Saturn tonight, May 9. With guidance from our experienced astronomy lecturer, take a look through a variety of telescopes at the waxing gibbous Moon and its prominent craters Copernicus and Tycho, as well as most of Mare Imbrium; glimpse the north polar cap of the tiny disk of Mars; and maybe get a look at rising Saturn. Dress warmly!
• Summer Star Party Planner on May 16. In a practical guide to “star parties” (gatherings of amateur astronomers to observe the evening sky), we’ll clue you in on when to go, where to go – from local urban and suburban locations to high mountains and deserts – and what to bring to be a welcome star party visitor and participant.
• Cassini’s Decade at Saturn on May 30. After a seven-year trip, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft arrived at Saturn in 2004 and entered orbit around the ringed gem of the solar system. Come review the remarkable discoveries and images that Cassini has produced in a decade at Saturn.
The John Drescher Planetarium, which features a Digistar projection system, is located near the elevators on the second floor of Drescher Hall (1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica). Tickets are available at the door and cost $11 ($9 seniors and children) for the evening’s scheduled “double bill,” or $6 ($5 seniors age 60+ and children age 12 and under) for a single show or telescope-viewing session.
For more information, call 310.434.3005 or visit www.smc.edu/eventsinfo or www.smc.edu/planetarium for information. All shows subject to change or cancellation without notice.