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SMC Drescher Planetarium Focuses on Telescopes, Second Moon Landing

Bob Kronovetrealty
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Santa Monica Convention and Visitors

Santa Monica College logo. Link:
1900 Pico Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 434-4000

By Lookout Staff

October 17, 2019 -- Buying that budding astronomer a telescope for the holidays is no easy task, but the Santa Monica College planetarium can help make it easier.

The John Drescher Planetarium will present its “Holiday Telescope Buyer Survival Guide” to kick off its November lineup of shows that once again features a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo missions.

Apollo 12 Moon landing
Commander Pete Conrad poses with flag planted on the lunar surface (Courtesy NASA)

The "Survival Guide" show November 1 helps telescope buyers navigate "a bewildering array of choices and a whole new jargon," planetarium officials said.

This program "will demystify the world of telescopes and provide some concrete examples and recommendations for first-time telescope shoppers."

While the presentation focuses on starter instruments, the planetarium's next show on November 8 offers a look through a variety of higher end telescopes.

The lenses will be focused on "a fat 12-day old gibbous Moon and its Copernicus crater and Mare Imbrium," event organizers said.

The show also offers a look at the Ring Nebula and the "pretty multicolored double star Albireo, the 'head' of Cygnus the Swan."

If clouds intervene, the program will stay in the planetarium with high-resolution images.

The shows on November 15 and 22 will continue the planetarium's 50-year retrospective of the Apollo flights to the Moon.

Next month's shows focus on Apollo 12, the second mission to land on the Moon just four months after Neal Armstrong became the first man to walk on the lunar surface.

"If Apollo was to provide good science, precision landing was paramount," Planetarium officials said.

"Apollo 12, commanded by Pete Conrad, was targeted to land in the Ocean of Storms, within walking distance of the Surveyor 3 probe. The show revisits this essential mission."

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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