The Santa Monica College John Drescher Planetarium will present special feature shows in June about exploring the Sun, the Summer Solstice, and guest Lectures by Shelley Bonus on Jupiter’s Europa and Saturn’s Enceladus and Titan. The feature shows — as well as SMC’s popular Night Sky Show — will be held on Friday evenings.

The 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 June events are:

  • “The Parker Solar Probe: Touching the Sun” on June 1 and 29. If all goes well, the Parker Solar Probe will launch this summer and spend the next 7 years unlocking the secrets of the apparent “surface” of the Sun, while also becoming the fastest-moving object ever created by humans.
  • Guest Lecture: Shelley Bonus: “Jupiter & Europa: Myths and Science” on June 8. Guest lecturer Shelley Bonus will provide updates on the newest findings from the Juno probe at Jupiter, and the status of the proposed Europa Clipper mission to investigate the habitability of the subsurface ocean of Jupiter’s icy moon.
  • Guest Lecture: Shelley Bonus: “Saturn Update! New Proposed Missions” on June 15. Guest lecturer Shelley Bonus presents the latest updates on Saturn and proposed NASA missions to explore possible signs of life on two of its moons: Enceladus and Titan.
  • “The Summer Solstice: Orbital Geometry and Cultural Celebrations” on June 22. This year’s Summer Solstice on June 21 marks the Sun’s northernmost position in the skies of Earth, and is the first day of Northern Hemisphere summer. Show discusses the physical reasons for our planet’s seasons, as well as the bonfire-leaping, Maypole-dancing, and love-declaring traditions of various cultures.

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.

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

Submitted by Grace Smith, SMC Public Information Officer

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