Free Virtual Live Shows From SMC’s Drescher Planetarium Explore Venus, Lunar Rovers and Exoplanets This Winter – Santa Monica Daily Press

The John Drescher Planetarium at Santa Monica College continues its Friday night events in winter 2022 with free live virtual shows presented online at smc.edu/planetarium. The season’s shows will explore Venus, take a look at lunar rovers and their development, and explain how planets beyond our solar system are discovered. Friday night shows take place at 8 p.m. and are preceded by a simplified virtual summary of the popular Night Sky Show at 7 p.m., offering the latest in astronomy and space exploration. Shows include the opportunity to chat with planetarium speakers and ask questions.

Planetarium speakers are currently using the Zoom platform to present shows while the on-campus planetarium remains closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To watch the shows, the Zoom software must be installed on the viewer’s computer. A free download is available at zoom.com.

The shows for winter 2022 are:

• Friday 7 and 21 January, at 8 p.m. (after The Night Sky Show at 7 p.m.): “Vénus, we missed you! — Associate Lecturer Sarah Vincent. Venus may be named after the Roman goddess of beauty, but up close the planet is an inhospitable world scorched by 800-degree heat and sulfuric acid rain. Show will cover three upcoming missions to explore the second planet from the Sun. To free. Zoom to smc.edu/planetarium.

• Friday 14 and 28 January, at 8 pm (after The Night Sky Show at 7 pm): “Roving Luna – The first extraterrestrial vehicles” — Lecturer Jim Mahon. While the last Apollo missions brought an electric rover for astronauts, the Apollo rovers were not the first on the Moon. The early history of lunar vehicle design includes some truly bizarre concepts. Show will examine the rarely seen ancestors of today’s alien rovers and some of the design concepts never built, as well as the development of the first two rovers actually used on the Moon. To free. Zoom to smc.edu/planetarium.

• Friday 4 February, at 8 pm (after The Night Sky Show at 7 pm): “Exoplanets and how we find them” — Associate Lecturer Sarah Vincent. There are over 4,400 currently known planets around other stars, and the list keeps growing… but how? Show will discuss the missions and methods used to discover planets beyond the solar system. To free. Zoom to smc.edu/planetarium.

More information is available online at smc.edu/planetarium or by calling 310-434-3005. All shows are subject to change or cancellation without notice.

Santa Monica College is a community college in California accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Submitted by Grace Smith.

Arline J. Mercier