The Santa Monica Amateur Astronomy Club will honor the late Jon Hodge at a plaque dedication ceremony Friday, May 19th. Hodge served as Santa Monica College planetarium director for 26 years before his death earlier this year.

The ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. in Drescher Hall Room 205, near the planetarium on the second floor. The college is at 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica.

The ten-by-15-inch plaque will be mounted in a display case outside the planetarium.

Hodge died January 4th at age 57 shortly after retiring from the college.

Last fall, his colleagues in the Earth Science Department arranged to have an asteroid named after him.

Asteroid 18117, now called “Jonhodge,” is in the main asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

He received the honor in recognition of his “enormous contribution to the dissemination of astronomical and scientific knowledge to the general public, college students and schoolchildren,” the department said in a written statement.

Reaching thousands of people through his lectures at Santa Monica College, UCLA, and the Griffith Observatory, Hodge was known for his ability to turn complex subjects into understandable and interesting talks for people of all ages.

“Jon Hodge had a tremendous influence on many amateur astronomers, some of whom went on to be professionals in the field,” said Kim Franklin, a member of the Santa Monica Amateur Astronomy Club and organizer of the dedication ceremony.

“We want to honor him for his great contributions.”

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