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SMC Planetarium Explains Equinoxes and Solstices

Bob Kronovetrealty
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Santa Monica

Santa Monica Apartments

Santa Monica College
1900 Pico Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 434-4000


By Lookout Staff

August 17, 2021 -- For city dwellers confused between equinoxes and solstices, Santa Monica College's John Dresher Planetarium will help sort the differences out.

Next month, the planetarium will explain the tilts that make the difference and point out the highlights of the autumn sky that can be seen through binoculars.

The planetarium's free, live virtual shows take place Friday evenings at 8 p.m. and are preceded by a streamlined, virtual digest of the popular Night Sky Show at 7 p.m. that offers the latest news in astronomy and space exploration.

"The shows include the chance to chat with the planetarium lecturers and ask questions related to astronomy and space exploration," planetarium officials said.

On Friday, September 10 and 24 the planetarium presents “Binocular Highlights of the Autumn Sky” hosted by Senior Lecturer Jim Mahon.

The show "will explain how to use binoculars to enjoy the highlights of the autumn sky at a convenient hour" and "help guests get oriented in the skies of a Southern California," event organizers said.

It also will "demystify what the numbers printed on binoculars mean and call attention to some interesting targets to look at and help friends and neighbors aim at with their own binoculars.

"If weather permits, guests will be ready to stroll outside for a little binocular observing after the program," organizers said.

On Friday, September 17, the planetarium presents “TILT! Equinoxes and Solstices Explained” hosted by Assistant Lecturer Sarah Vincent.

"With the Autumnal Equinox approaching on September 20, most city dwellers are only vaguely aware of what the equinoxes and solstices actually are," organizers said.

"The show will try to remedy this disconnect from the natural world, as well as dispel some myths, like the egg-standing-on-end story."

Currently, the planetarium is using the Zoom platform. To attend the shows, the Zoom software version 5.0 or higher must be installed on the viewer’s computer. A free download is available at

More information is available online at or by calling 310-434-3005. Shows are subject to change or cancellation without notice.

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