The Santa Monica College John Drescher Planetarium is pleased to present special feature shows in May about star parties and where to find them, as well as a talk by special guest Shelley Bonus about returning to the Moon and going to Mars. The feature shows — as well as our 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 May events are:

  • “Summer Star Party Planner” on May 4 and 11. A practical guide to “star parties” (gatherings of amateur astronomers to observe the evening sky) explains when to go, where to go — from local urban and suburban locations to high mountains and deserts — and what to bring to be a welcome star party visitor and participant. Includes a chance to sign up for information on joining a group of amateur astronomers at a dark site in July.
  • Guest Lecture: Shelley Bonus: “NASA, ESA, and Private Investors Back to the Moon? Why, and What about Mars?” on May 18. The Moon is once more the near-term target for NASA, the European Space Agency, and private groups. Guest lecturer Shelley Bonus will explore these developments and how they relate to human prospects on Mars.

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.

Please call (310) 434-3005 or see or for information. All shows subject to change or cancellation without notice.

Santa Monica College is a California Community College accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Submitted by Grace Smith, SMC Public Information Officer