Santa Monica College’s John Drescher Planetarium continues its Friday evening events in February 2022 with free, live virtual shows presented online at smc.edu/planetarium. This month’s friendly presentations will cover the search for exoplanets and the latest developments in human space flight.

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 February 2022 shows are:

• Friday, February 4, at 8 p.m. (following The Night Sky Show at 7 p.m.): “Exoplanets and How We Find Them” — Associate Lecturer Sarah Vincent. There are more than 4,400 currently known planets around other stars, and the list keeps growing…but how? Show will discuss the missions and methods used to discover planets beyond the solar system. Free. Zoom at smc.edu/planetarium.

• Friday, February 18 and 25, at 8 p.m. (following The Night Sky Show at 7 p.m.): “2022 Human Space Flight Preview” — Senior Lecturer Jim Mahon. The flight of SLS/Orion on the Artemis 1 shakedown, the expansion of China’s space station, the first commercial SpaceX Dragon mission to the International Space Station, and Boeing’s delayed second attempt at a Starliner test flight to the ISS are just some of this year’s kaleidoscope of human space flight developments. Show will review all these projects, and perhaps a few in the early conceptual stages. 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.

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