The Santa Monica College John Drescher Planetarium will present special feature shows in July on Summer Deep Sky Wonders, the latest developments in human spaceflight, a telescope session with a focus on the Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn, and a special report by the planetarium director on the Grand Canyon Star Party (GCSP). 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 “tour” of the constellations, and the chance to ask astronomy-related questions.

The July events offered are: “Summer Deep Sky Wonders”, “Human Spaceflight Update”, “The Moon on the Anniversary of Apollo 11, Jupiter, and Saturn!” and “The Grand Canyon Star Party (GCSP) — A Volunteer’s Report”.

“Summer Deep Sky Wonders” on July 6. Images of the wonders of the summer sky show us star birth and death, the raw material of planetary formation, and distant galaxies. Come discuss what they tell us about our universe, and pick up tips on where to go to view them.

“Human Spaceflight Update” on July 13. A survey of both the new “commercial” crew carriers from SpaceX and Boeing, and the latest details on flight schedules, the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, Chinese space station activities, and the state of Russian space vehicle development.

“The Moon on the Anniversary of Apollo 11, Jupiter, and Saturn!” on July 20. With guidance from the planetarium director, 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, then take a look at Jupiter and its belts and moons, and at Saturn and its rings.

“The Grand Canyon Star Party (GCSP) — A Volunteer’s Report” on July 27. A first-hand report on the 2018 North Rim Party – with images – from planetarium director Jim Mahon. With simultaneous events held on the North and South Rims of the Grand Canyon, the annual Grand Canyon Star Party 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.

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 (nine dollars seniors and children) for the evening’s scheduled “double bill,” or six dollars (five dollars for 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