Santa Monica College Planetarium Hosts Shows

The John Drescher Planetarium at Santa Monica College will present two special feature shows and two observing events in January.

The first special observing event is Jan. 6, with a look at the moon, the jewel box of M45 (the Pleiades star cluster), and other pretty winter star clusters. The second special event is Jan. 27, featuring the bright stars in the winter sky, which include the constellations Orion the Hunter.

Both events use a variety of telescopes, with guidance from the planetarium director.

The shows, which begin at 8 p.m., are preceded by “The Night Sky Show” at 7 p.m., offering the latest news in astronomy and space exploration, a family-friendly “tour” of the constellations, and the chance to ask astronomy-related questions.

Jan. 13 is “A Failure of Imagination— The Tragedy of Apollo 1.” The world was rocked in 1967 by the loss of the Apollo 1 crew—Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee—to a fire during a ground test of their spacecraft. Learn more about the accident and some of the surprising fixes that resulted from its investigation.

On Jan. 20, “Starbirth in Orion’s Sword” will explore the Great Orion Nebula and present recent discoveries that reveal the hundreds of potential planetary systems forming within it.

The John Drescher Planetarium, which features a Digistar projection system, is located near the elevators on the second floor of Drescher Hall (1900 Pico Blvd.). 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 children age 12 and under) for a single show or telescope-viewing session.

Call (310) 434-3005 or visit its website for more information.

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