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By Lookout Staff

October 22, 2020 -- Santa Moica College's John Drescher Planetarium will explore the dangers of surviving on the red planet and offer tips for buying a telescope during its virtual shows in November.

Friday, November 6 and 13, associate lecturer Sarah Vincent will present “Humans on Mars: What Do We Need to Survive the Red Planet?”

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"The once fantastical dream of going to Mars is now the first step toward the stars," event organizers said. "What obstacles stand in the way? How far away is human exploration of the planet?

"The show takes a look at the dangers of the Red Planet, and the technological advances that will be needed to live there."

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On Friday, November 20, senior lecturer Jim Mahon will present the show “Holiday Telescope Buyer Survival Guide” in time to shop "before the good suppliers sell out of the best starter instruments."

"Anyone considering giving a telescope as a holiday gift will face a bewildering array of choices and a whole new jargon," event organizers said.

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

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 and the chance to ask astronomy-related questions.

A Sunday afternoon matinee that combines abbreviated versions of “The Night Sky Show” and the telescope buying guide will be presented November 22, at 2 p.m.

Currently, the planetarium is using the Zoom platform. To attend the shows, the Zoom software version 5.0 or higher must be installed on the viewer’s computer. A free download is available at

More information is available online at or by calling 310-434-3005. Shows are subject to change or cancellation without notice.

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