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Santa Monica Planetarium Offers Telescope Buying Tips

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By Lookout Staff

October 20, 2015 -- If you're planning to buy a telescope as a holiday gift for that star-struck loved one, Santa Monica College's John Drescher Planetarium will offer buying and viewing tips next month, officials announced Monday.

The Planetarium will present two feature shows November 6 and 13 “offering concrete examples and recommendations for the first-time telescope shopper,” planetarium officials said.

Those planning to buy a telescope “will quickly find a bewildering array of choices and a whole new jargon when you shop for a telescope,” officials said.

“We’ll demystify things and provide some concrete examples and recommendations for first-time telescope shoppers. We’ve timed this program early enough to let you get to good suppliers before they sell out of the best starter instruments.”

Sky gazers will also get a chance to get a glimpse of what's in store at the end of that new telescope during a special observing event November 20 titled “9-Day-Old Moon, the Straight Wall, and Sunrise on Copernicus.”

Observers can take a look at the 9-day-old Moon’s Rupes Recta, which means “Straight Wall” and is a “slender black line made by shadow along the edge of a large fault scarp,” planetarium officials said.

They also can explore “the rich detail along the 'terminator,' the line between light and shadow,” officials said. “As sunrise advances across the lunar surface, craters Copernicus and Tycho will be especially well lit.”

The feature shows and telescope session start at 8 p.m. and are preceded at 7 p.m. by “The Night Sky Show,” which offers the latest news in astronomy and space exploration, a family-friendly “tour” of the constellations and the chance to ask astronomy-related questions.

The John Drescher Planetarium, which features a Digistar projection system, is located near the elevators on the second floor of Drescher Hall (1900 Pico Boulevard.

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.

For more information call (310) 434-3005 or visit or All shows subject to change or cancellation without notice.

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