Santa Monica Planetarium Welcomes Spring Stargazers

The Santa Monica College John Drescher Planetarium invites residents to view three upcoming feature shows, as well as the popular Night Sky Show on Friday evenings in April.

Starting at 7 p.m., “The Night Sky Show” offers the latest news in astronomy and space exploration and a family-friendly tour of the constellations. Questions are welcomed.

On April 21, the feature show “Galaxies, Galaxies, Everywhere!” will follow the Night Sky Show at 8 p.m. After Edwin Hubble determined that the spiral nebulae were star cities comparable to our own Milky Way, the study of galaxies became a research hotbed. Today, one can “hear” the radio voices and “see” gamma and X rays from the energetic cores of galaxies millions of light years away.

Lyrid meteor shower. The Lyrids, which peak during late April, are one of the oldest known meteor showers, and have been observed for 2,700 years. Photo: Jimmy Westlake

Lyrid meteor shower. The Lyrids, which peak during late April, are one of the oldest known meteor showers, and have been observed for 2,700 years. Photo: Jimmy Westlake

On April 28 and May 12, the “Summer Star Party Planner” will be featured at 8 p.m. Gatherings of amateur astronomers to observe the evening sky are called “star parties,” and summer presents good opportunities for beginners to attend these events without having to deal with winter’s cold and travel hazards. Attendees will be clued in on where and when to go, and what to bring to be a welcomed star party visitor and participant. Visitors can sign up for information on joining a group of amateur astronomers at a dark site in July.

The 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 an evening’s scheduled “double bill,” or $6 ($5 seniors age 60+ and children age 12 and under) for a single Night Sky or feature show.

Call (310) 434-3005 or visit smc.edu/eventsinfo or smc.edu/planetarium.

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