Thanks to the generosity and vision of the late John Drescher, Santa Monica College is the home to a computerized planetarium theater. At its heart is the Evans & Sutherland Digistar II planetarium projector, which was the first of its kind on the West Coast. Using digital technology, audiences can fly beyond the solar system and soar among the stars. We can transport you across our galaxy to the limits of spacetime.
Planetarium this week
New free, live, virtual public shows!
Watch this space for more information. Invitation links to the live online events are generally posted the Thursday before. These programs are only available LIVE on Friday evenings, and on the occasional Matinee dates, normally Sundays. Clicking on the Zoom links at other times will not work.
NOTE: WE ARE EXPERIENCING A GLITCH WITH OUR CALENDAR SETUP - PLEASE SCROLL DOWN BEYOND THE HORIZONTALLY SLIDING CALENDAR NOTES FOR UPCOMING APRIL/MAY PROGRAM
We also look forward to the expanded capabilities of the new planetarium SMC will be building in the not-too-distant future…
Senior Planetarium Lecturer
Upcoming Planetarium ShowsSee All
Weekly Night Sky Show
The Night Sky programs will last roughly 30 minutes, followed by a short question and answer period where guests can type questions into a chat box and we will answer as many questions as possible. A short intermission will begin at approximately 7:50 prior to the start of the Feature program.
At 8 p.m.:
Note that all 8 p.m. feature programs are preceded by the 7 p.m. “Night Sky” program described above.
Blue Origin – On the Radar at Last? – Senior Lecturer Jim Mahon
March 26th and April 2nd
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is yet another internet billionaire with an interest in space exploration dating from his youth. His interest has taken shape in his company Blue Origin, which has been as quiet as Elon Musk’s SpaceX has been publicity-friendly. Yet Blue Origin has been independently developing reusable rocket engines and boosters, test flying a suborbital passenger capsule for commercial use, working on a lunar landing system, and won a contract to supply booster engines to SpaceX’s major competitor – United Launch Alliance – for their new Vulcan launch vehicle. That same big engine will power Blue Origin’s very large new booster, the New Glenn, scheduled to see first flight next year. Blue Origin is about to emerge from beneath the radar if you did not already know about them.
Gaia: Earth Mother Watching the Stars – Associate Lecturer Sarah Vincent
April 9th and 23rd
The stars of the Milky Way dance to the Music of the Spheres. Named for the goddess of Earth, the European Space Agency’s Gaia mission is mapping the positions and motions of the closest, brightest stars to an accuracy never before achieved. Join us for a look through the eyes of Gaia!
No Programs April 16th
Binocular and Small Scope Highlights of the Spring Sky – Senior Lecturer Jim Mahon
April 30th and May 7th PLUS Sunday Matinee May 2nd
With the constellations of winter giving way to those of spring, and temperatures moderating, a whole raft of new seasonal Deep Sky targets are available for small telescope and binocular users. We will pick out some of the best, show closeups and low-power views to simulate how they look in small telescopes and binoculars, then switch to the freeware desktop planetarium program Stellarium and “locate” them in a virtual star party. This will be free-wheeling enough to have variations from show to show, so if you have a galaxy, cluster or nebula you have seen pictures of or read about and believe to be in the sky and bright enough for small instruments, feel free to make requests!
Currently online presentations ONLY. Please check the calendar above for the latest shows.
Location of Planetarium
Drescher Hall, 2nd Floor
1900 Pico Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90405
The Drescher Planetarium is located in the middle of the second floor of Drescher Hall on the north side of the Santa Monica College campus. Drescher Hall is the three story brown building on the South East corner of Pico Blvd. and 17th Street. We are in beautiful Santa Monica, south of the 10 (Santa Monica) Freeway and west of the 405 (San Diego) Freeway.