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Santa Monica College Planetarium Presents Two Ways of Peering at the Universe

Bob Kronovetrealty
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Santa Monica College
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By Jorge Casuso

September 24, 2020 -- The Santa Monica College (SMC) planetarium next month will explore two vastly different ways of peering at the universe -- by using binoculars and through the lens of the Hubble telescope.

The shows are part of the John Drescher Planetarium's Friday evening events that offer free, live virtual shows presented online at

The lineup kicks off Friday, October 2 and 9 at 8 p.m. with “Hubble Science: Beyond the Beauty,” presented by associate lecturer Sarah Vincent and senior lecturer Jim Mahon.

"The Hubble Space Telescope has produced amazing images in its 30 years of service," organizer's said. "But Hubble is more than just the camera that took (the pictures.)

"It is one of the most important scientific instruments of the last century," they said.

The show -- which will be offered in a shorter version Sunday, October 4, at 1 p.m. -- "presents a look at the science hidden in some of Hubble’s most iconic images."

On Friday, October 16 and 23, at 8 p.m. the two lecturers present the show “What are the Benefits of Going Back to the Moon (Permanently?)”

"NASA has an administration mandate to get boots back on the Moon by 2024," the organizers said.

"China is ramping up its crewed space program with eyes set on colonizing the Moon. The new 'Space Race” is upon us -- sort of."

The show explores why the Moon is a valuable resource, the show's organizers said.

On Friday, October 30, at 8 p.m. the planetarium presents “Backyard Observing -– Binocular Highlights of the Autumn Sky,” which teaches how to use binoculars to view the fall sky.

The show, presented by Mahon, explains "how to get oriented in the skies of Southern California" and "what the numbers printed on binoculars mean," as well as "easy ways to find some interesting targets."

The 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.

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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