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Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica

By Lookout Staff

November 3, 2016 -- Those shopping for a telescope this holiday season can get useful tips from the Santa Monica College John Drescher Planetarium this month, college officials announced.

Two special feature shows on Friday evenings in November will include a presentation offering concrete examples and recommendations for the first-time telescope shopper, as well as the popular Night Sky Show held on Friday evenings.

This Friday, the planetarium will present the “Holiday Telescope Buyer Survival Guide” geared toward "a budding young scientist or newly star-struck adult," officials said.

"Before you’re overwhelmed by the array of choices and a whole new jargon, come find out what you need to know to shop for a telescope -- and just in time to do it before the good suppliers sell out of the best starter instruments," officials said.

On Friday, November 18 the planetarium presents “Gemini 12: ‘The End,’” the last installment of its 50-year retrospective on Project Gemini that will focus on the final flight in November 1966.

Flown by Jim Lovell and Buzz Aldrin, the successful mission was highlighted by Aldrin’s three extra vehicular activities, or EVAs.

"The addition of handholds, foot restraints, and a dialing back of sheer physical demands allowed an EVA to go entirely according to plan for the first time," officials said.

The evening concludes with a summary of "the rapid progress in human spaceflight competency NASA made in this pivotal program en route to the Moon."

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

The John Drescher Planetarium, which features a Digistar projection system, is located near the elevators on the second floor of Drescher Hall, 1900 Pico Boulevard.

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.

For more information call (310) 434-3005 or visit All shows subject to change or cancellation without notice.

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