The Santa Monica College John Drescher Planetarium invites residents to come find out what the latest developments are in the quest for a reusable rocket, and enjoy a preview that prepares to make the most of the Perseid meteor shower coming next month. The planetarium’s July schedule also offers an opportunity to gaze at the moon and Saturn through telescopes. 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:

Reusable Rockets: A Progress Report on July 10 and 17. From the start of the Space Age, the one-shot nature of space boosters has been a major impediment to reducing the cost of space flight. Over the years, multiple public and private ventures have strived to crack this difficult problem. Come find out the latest news on the potentially revolutionary developments in the quest for reusable rockets.

Special Observing Event: 8-Day-Old Moon, The Straight Wall, and Saturn! on July 24. With guidance from our planetarium director, take a look through a variety of telescopes at an 8-day-old waxing gibbous Moon offering sights that include the sharply shadowed, 70-mile-long Rupes Recta (The Straight Wall), then enjoy a view of the solar system’s crown jewel, lovely Saturn and its rings. Dress warmly!

The Meteors of Summer: August’s Perseid Shower on July 31. Find out about the Perseid Meteor shower — which will present its annual spectacular streaks of light crossing the skies on August 12-13, as our planet moves through dust streams from comet Swift-Tuttle — and pick up tips on the best way to watch one of nature’s silent spectacles.

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, guest lecture, 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.

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