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Santa Monica College Planetarium Explores Extremely Hot and Cold Places


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By Lookout Staff

May 30, 2018 -- Santa Monica College's John Drescher Planetarium next month will explore the extremes of hot and cold when it focuses on the blazing surface of the Sun and Jupiter’s icy moon.

Next month's events kick off and culminate with a look at the Parker Solar Probe that for the next seven years will attempt to unlock "the secrets of the apparent 'surface' of the Sun," planetarium officials said.

Artist's redering of Parker Solar Probe
Artist's redering of Parker Solar Probe (Courtesy NASA)

The show "Touching the Sun” on June 1 and June 29 precedes this summer's launch of the fastest-moving object created by humans.

The mission -- which was originally scheduled to launch in 2015 -- will study the magnetic fields at the source of solar wind, a stream of particles released from the Sun's upper atmosphere.

On June 8, guest lecturer Shelley Bonus will present “Jupiter & Europa: Myths and Science.”

The show provides updates on "the newest findings from the Juno probe at Jupiter, and the status of the proposed Europa Clipper mission to investigate the habitability of the subsurface ocean of Jupiter’s icy moon," organizers said.

The series visits Saturn on June 15, when Bonus presents the latest updates on the proposed NASA missions to "explore possible signs of life on two of its moons, Enceladus and Titan."

"The Summer Solstice: Orbital Geometry and Cultural Celebrations” will be presented on on June 22, the day after the Sun’s northernmost position in the skies of Earth marks the first day of Northern Hemisphere summer.

The show discusses "the physical reasons for our planet’s seasons, as well as the bonfire-leaping, Maypole-dancing, and love-declaring traditions of various cultures," organizers said.

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 All shows are subject to change or cancellation without notice.


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