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A Star-Studded Month at the Santa Monica College John Drescher Planetarium Celebrates Apollo 11


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By Lookout Staff

June 21, 2018 -- Summer wonders, the first moon landing and “The Grand Canyon Star Party" are among the topics the Santa Monica College John Drescher Planetarium will focus on next month.

The events -- which are held on Friday evenings -- kick off July 6 with “Summer Deep Sky Wonders,” which showcase "beautiful images of the wonders of the summer sky, event organizers said.

The images show the birth and death of a star, the raw material that forms planets and countless distant galaxies, organizers said.

Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin Walks on the Moon
Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin walks on the Moon (Courtesy NASA)

The discussion will offer tips on where to view these "beauties" and address "what they seem to be telling us about our universe."

On July 13, the planetarium will offer an update on the new “commercial” crew carriers from SpaceX and Boeing.

It also looks at "the latest details on flight schedules, the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, Chinese space station activities and the state of Russian space vehicle development," organizers said.

The series continues July 20 with a special observing event “The Moon on the Anniversary of Apollo 11, Jupiter, and Saturn!”

The event offers participants a chance to "gaze through a variety of telescopes at the 8-day-old Moon and its Sea of Tranquility on the 49th anniversary of the first lunar landing."

It also offers a look at Jupiter and its belts and moons and at Saturn and its rings. Participants are advised to dress warmly.

The July shows conclude with planetarium director Jim Mahon's first-hand report on the 2018 North Rim Party held at the Grand Canyon.

The party, held simultaneously with one on the south rim, is "one of the premier astronomy outreach events in the Southwest, with amateur astronomers from all over the planet bringing a wide variety of telescopes," organizers said.

The feature shows and a telescope viewing session take place at 8 p.m. and are preceded at 7 p.m. by “The Night Sky Show,” which offers "the latest news in astronomy and space exploration, a family-friendly 'tour' of the constellations and answers to astronomy-related questions.

The John Drescher Planetarium, which features a Digistar projection system, is located near the elevators on the second floor of Drescher Hall, 1900 Pico Boulevard.

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 older and children age 12 and under) for a single show or telescope-viewing session.

For more information call (310) 434-3005 or visit All shows are subject to change or cancellation without notice.


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