​Show Times

  • At 7 p.m.  The Night Sky Show: this 50 minute presentation is an interactive weekly update on the night sky, with the latest news in space exploration and astronomy and a chance to ask any question about astronomy. We use our Digistar II planetarium projector to recreate the night sky with all of its celestial wonders!

  • At 8 p.m. – Feature Show: feature shows and guest lectures on a variety of astronomical topics. Special observing events in which opportunities are given to look through telescopes and other astronomical instruments are also offered from time to time.

Special Note: We LOVE small children - but children under 6 years normally do not make it through a complete indoor planetarium program without exceeding their attention spans.  For this reason, we recommend that children of this age be brought ONLY to the occasional 8:00 pm "Special Observing" events, which are more hands-on since we go outside to observe in telescopes.

If you bring very young children to other programs, they will be admitted free of charge - because much of the time the presenter is forced to ask the parents to take them out of the planetarium when they begin to get restless and talkative.  Please consider this before bringing very young children to our regular shows.  We do happily arrange for preschool age group programs under the rules of our school shows.  When the entire group is of this age, the content is adjusted, and the other audience members are not expecting a quiet environment!

Ticket Prices

Tickets may be purchased at the door (CASH ONLY) on the evening of the show 20 minutes prior to showtime, or in person at the SMC Theatre Arts Box Office (Theatre Arts Complex, SMC Main Campus; 8 a.m. to 12 noon Mon-Wed). Shows (except selected guest lectures) are held in the John Drescher Planetarium, located on SMC’s Main Campus in Drescher Hall Room 223. Directions to the Planetarium.

Admission to a single show or lecture is $6 ($5 for seniors age 60+ and children age 12 and under). For the double-bill price of $11 ($9 seniors and children), you can enjoy both the Night Sky Show and the evening’s scheduled Feature Show or Guest Lecture.

Feature Show Schedule

Please Note: All 8 p.m. feature programs are preceded by the 7 p.m. “Night Sky” program described above. If you wish to see the constellations and sky motions, you want the 7 p.m. Night Sky show.  All programs are subject to change in the event of an emergency or other unforeseen circumstances.

For more information contact the SMC Events Office at: (310) 434-3005 or email: events@smc.edu

NOTE: All public planetarium shows on January 11th have been cancelled.   Next public programs will be on January 18th


 ​Winter Session



Mars INSIGHT – First Looks 

January 4th and 11th

With landing on November 26th, INSIGHT should either be well into its surface operations or we should have a good idea of what happened to prevent that happy outcome by the date of these programs.  We will review the latest images and information from INSIGHT as the first attempts are made to take the temperature and pulse of Mars, hopefully accompanied by interesting images of yet more new terrain on the red planet.  ​NOTE: January 11th programs cancelled - see notice above!





NASA Commercial Crew – Are We There Yet?

January 18th and 25th

After a challenging development phase that saw annual funding shortfalls vs requests, NASA's two Commercial Crew providers should have the first un-crewed test flights of the first US crewed spacecraft since the end of the Space Shuttle program completed by the date of this program.  Will either have flown with crew by this date?  We shall see - and will update you on this crucial phase of regaining American human spaceflight capability as our reserved seats on Russian Soyuz flights run out. Both capsules are intended for initial use as crew "taxis" to the International Space Station, freeing NASA from exclusive dependence on the Russian Soyuz to carry crews to and from the station and serve in lifeboat roles. With the SpaceX Dragon 2 and the Boeing Starliner hoping for first test flights in 2018, we will review this new era in US spaceflight.




Special Observing Event: Orion, the Seven Sisters, and the Winter Hexagon!

February 1st

With the Moon's glare absent this week, we'll explore the winter sky and the bounty of bright stars surrounding its signature constellation, Orion the Hunter.   Embedded in the Sword of Orion is the mighty Orion Nebula, the closest large area of star formation to the solar system. We'll begin in the planetarium and then head outside for viewing through telescopes.  Among the stars around Orion we will find the lovely Pleiades Cluster.  If clouds interfere, we'll view spectacular images of the nebula, and surrounding skies.  Dress warmly!




No shows February 8th – Campus closed!  


Spring Programs will begin on February 15th