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Santa Monica College Planetarium Reviews Saturn Mission
By Jorge Casuso
July 24, 2017 -- By the time NASA’s Cassini mission disintegrates as it dives into the cloud tops of Saturn in September, it will have changed the way we view the universe.The Santa Monica College John Drescher Planetarium will review "the latest images of Saturn -- from a risky vantage point between the rings and the planet -- and Cassini’s many discoveries" when it presents “Cassini’s Grand Finale at Saturn” on Friday, August 4.
Cassini also became the first mission to successfully drop a lander on an outer solar system moon when its probe, Huygens, touched down on Titan.
Launched on October 15, 1997, the mission will conclude on September 15, when Cassini plunges into Saturn’s atmosphere and burns up one month before its twentieth birthday.
Also next month, the planetarium also will present "Solar System Exploration Review" on Friday, August 11.
"As the end of the Cassini mission nears, now is an opportune time to review the state of humanity’s robotic solar system exploration efforts," planetarium officials said.
"What new missions are in the works, and who is proposing to carry them out? Will we see more near-term exploration missions from relatively new players like China and India? Will Mars exploration move into a new phase to support mounting human missions to the Red Planet?"
The feature shows and a telescope viewing session take place 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 answers to 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 older and children age 12 and under) for a single show or telescope-viewing session.
For more information call (310) 434-3005 or visit www.smc.edu/planetarium. All shows are subject to change or cancellation without notice.
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