Alumni News


Plus Last-Minute Planning for the

August 21st North American Solar Eclipse


This July, the Santa Monica College John Drescher Planetarium presents beautiful images of some of the finest deep sky objects, the latest news on NASA’s Cassini mission and its planned dive into the cloud tops of Saturn, and strategies for seeing the upcoming solar eclipse. The feature shows and the evening telescope viewing session – as well as our popular Night Sky Show – will be held on Friday evenings. 

The evening events are at 8 p.m. and are preceded by “The Night Sky Show” at 7 p.m., 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 July planetarium events are: 

• Summer Deep Sky Wonders on July 7. Beautiful images of the wonders of the summer sky show us star birth and death, the raw material of planetary formation, and literally countless distant galaxies. Come discuss what they seem to be telling us about our universe, and pick up tips on where to go to view these beauties. 

• Last-Minute Planning for the August 21st North American Solar Eclipse on July 14 and 21. So, you want to view the total eclipse of the Sun on August 21, but failed to book a hotel room or campground a year in advance? Come find out about the path of totality, possible strategies for seeing the eclipse, and what you need to know for safe eclipse viewing. For those who must remain in the LA area we’ll provide a timeline of the eclipse as it will appear locally. 

• “Cassini’s Grand Finale at Saturn” on July 28. As NASA’s Cassini mission to Saturn, orbiting the ringed planet since 2004, moves into its final month and a destructive dive into the cloud tops of Saturn on September 15, we’ll review the latest images of Saturn – from a risky vantage point between the rings and the planet – and Cassini’s many discoveries. This show will also be presented on August 4.

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 Night Sky or feature show or telescope-viewing session. 


For information, please call (310) 434-3005 or see www.smc.edu/eventsinfo or www.smc.edu/planetarium. All shows subject to change or cancellation without notice.

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