February 15, 2023
Free Drescher Planetarium Shows in March
Free, Live Virtual Shows from SMC’s Drescher Planetarium
Present the Polaris Program, Preparations for Artemis II, Space Weather, Venus, and
More in March
Friendly Presentations Include Special Sunday Matinee March 5
on the Polaris Dawn Mission
SANTA MONICA, CA — Santa Monica College’s John Drescher Planetarium continues its Friday evening events in March 2023 with free, live virtual shows presented online at smc.edu/planetarium. This month's friendly presentations will offer an overview of the Polaris Program, an update on preparations for Artemis II, a look at space weather, and the new data coming from multi-messenger astronomy. This month also features the Venus segment of the planetarium's Solar System Exploration Survey, a new series about the missions to explore the members of the solar system.
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. The shows include the chance to chat with the planetarium lecturers and ask questions.
Planetarium lecturers are currently using the Zoom platform to present shows while the actual on-campus planetarium remains closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To attend the shows, the Zoom software must be installed on the viewer’s computer. A free download is available at zoom.com.
The March 2023 shows are:
- Friday, March 3, at 8 p.m. (following The Night Sky Show at 7 p.m.): "The Polaris Dawn Mission" — Senior Lecturer Jim Mahon. Show explores the Polaris Program, a series of private missions with SpaceX funded by billionaire Jared Isaacman. The first, Polaris Dawn, is expected to launch in March 2023 with a four-person crew commanded by Isaacman on his second space flight to a record orbital altitude for the SpaceX Dragon, and an EVA that will be another first for the Dragon and SpaceX pressure suit combination. Free. Zoom at smc.edu/planetarium.
- Sunday, March 5, at 11 a.m.: Sunday Matinee — “The Polaris Dawn Mission” — Lecturer Sarah Vincent. Matinee presents a 70-minute condensed version of “The Night Sky Show” and the week’s feature show, “The Polaris Dawn Mission,” which explores the first mission in the Polaris Program, a series of private missions with SpaceX funded by billionaire Jared Isaacman. Free. Zoom at smc.edu/planetarium.
- Friday, March 10, at 8 p.m. (following The Night Sky Show at 7 p.m.): "Artemis II – When Do We Leave – and Who is Making the Trip?” — Senior Lecturer Jim Mahon. With the flight of Artemis I in December, NASA can expect an avalanche of questions about the first crewed Artemis flight — Artemis II — a loop around the Moon with four astronauts billed as the Artemis generation’s “Apollo 8 moment.” Shown will review the mission profile and likely launch timeframe. Free. Zoom at smc.edu/planetarium.
- Friday, March 17, at 8 p.m. (following The Night Sky Show at 7 p.m.): "Space Weather – What’s It Like Out There, and How Does It Affect Us?” — Lecturer Sarah Vincent. Space weather is a real thing. And it has real effects on day-to-day lives on Earth, becoming more important as dependence on electronic devices has increased. The show will explain and expand awareness of this very real component of life as passengers on Spaceship Earth. Free. Zoom at smc.edu/planetarium.
- Friday, March 24, at 8 p.m. (following The Night Sky Show at 7 p.m.): Solar System Exploration Survey: "Part 2: Venus” — Senior Lecturer Jim Mahon. Drescher Planetarium's series on exploration missions to the members of our solar system takes a look at the often-challenging studies of Earth’s “Evil Twin Sister" Venus. Free. Zoom at smc.edu/planetarium.
- Friday, March 31, at 8 p.m. (following The Night Sky Show at 7 p.m.): "Multi-Messenger Astronomy” — Lecturer Sarah Vincent. Using instruments that capture new wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum, scientists have learned much about the cosmos from the varied 'colors’ beyond detection by the human eye. Today, with gravity wave detection and directional detection of high-energy neutrino bursts — which can arrive ahead of more conventional electromagnetic wavelengths — the combined effect creates a fascinating synergy that opens a new era of true multi-messenger astronomy. Free. Zoom at smc.edu/planetarium.
More information is available online at smc.edu/planetarium or by calling 310-434-3005. All shows subject to change or cancellation without notice.
Santa Monica College is a California Community College accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).