Santa Monica College’s John Drescher Planetarium continues its Friday evening events in November 2021 with free, live virtual shows presented online at smc.edu/planetarium. The friendly presentations will explain how to buy a telescope, explore the NASA space technology that has changed the lives of almost every human on Earth, and offer updated details on Project Artemis and the effort to return to the Moon.
The planetarium will also present a free Sunday Afternoon Matinee on November 7 at 2 p.m. The special matinee combines an abbreviated version of “The Night Sky Show” and the week’s featured evening show, “Holiday Telescope Buyer Survival Guide.”
The Friday evening shows are at 8 p.m. and are preceded by a streamlined, virtual digest of the popular Night Sky Show at 7 p.m., offering the latest news in astronomy and space exploration. The shows include the chance to chat with the planetarium lecturers and ask questions.
Planetarium lecturers are currently using the Zoom platform to present shows while the actual on-campus planetarium remains closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To attend the shows, the Zoom software must be installed on the viewer’s computer. A free download is available at zoom.com.
The November 2021 shows are:
• Friday, November 5, at 8 p.m. (following The Night Sky Show at 7 p.m.): “Holiday Telescope Buyer Survival Guide” — Senior Lecturer Jim Mahon. Anyone considering giving a telescope as a holiday gift will face a bewildering array of choices and a whole new jargon. This program — presented in time to shop before the good suppliers sell out of the best starter instruments — will demystify the world of telescopes and provide some concrete examples and recommendations for first-time telescope shoppers. Free. Zoom at smc.edu/planetarium.
• Sunday, November 7, at 2 p.m.: Sunday Afternoon Matinee — “Holiday Telescope Buyer Survival Guide” — Senior Lecturer Jim Mahon. A shorter version of “The Night Sky Show” and the week’s feature show, “Holiday Telescope Buyer Survival Guide,” which demystifies the world of telescopes and provides some concrete examples and recommendations for first-time telescope shoppers. Free. Zoom at smc.edu/planetarium.
• Friday, November 12, at 8 p.m. (following The Night Sky Show at 7 p.m.): “NASA Spinoffs” — Assistant Lecturer Sarah Vincent. An exciting review of how America’s space program and its space technology have changed the lives of almost every human on Earth. Free. Zoom at smc.edu/planetarium.
• Friday, November 19, at 8 p.m. (following The Night Sky Show at 7 p.m.): “Artemis 1 Preview” — Senior Lecturer Jim Mahon. NASA’s Project Artemis is still scheduled to launch the SLS booster and Orion spacecraft in December 2021 on an uncrewed test flight into lunar orbit and back to Earth. Tonight’s show presents an update on the long-delayed first flight of the system to send humans back to the Moon — and beyond. [Note: This feature show will be repeated December 3.] Free. Zoom at smc.edu/planetarium.
More information is available online at smc.edu/planetarium or by calling (310) 434-3005. All shows subject to change or cancellation without notice.
Submitted by Grace Smith, SMC