We offer various educational programs for school field trips, Scout troops, day care groups, park recreation, civic groups, and others.
Our World of Science lectures provides a monthly forum in which a local scientist discusses his or her specialties.
Enjoy weekend public Planetarium shows for residents of all ages. Explore this website for descriptions of our current shows. Contact us at email@example.com. See our calendar for what's playing.
The planetarium front doors will be inaccessiable during day hours due to construction at the adjacent Parkland Theatre. There will also be no entrance to our circle drive in front. The planetarium is still open! Patrons coming to our evening programming or summer matinees should park in the M-1 lot north of the dome, walk up the walk, and enter through our back entrance. Look for the signs. Groups visiting by way of buses should also go to the M-1 lot, north of the planetarium, and pull into the marked bus lane. Pull up as far as you can to let off the kids. You may park your bus here for the duration of the show. Cars should not park in the bus lane! A map can be found here. Note: due to reconstruction of the archway between the planetarium and theatre, our front doos will closed completely to the public beginning in mid-August. Crews are also working on our wing's air conditioning and the dome is quite cool - you are advised to bring a sweater.
This is our last week of summer matinees (Jly 29 and 31). We temporarily suspend programming on Saturday nights but add matinees for the kids on Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings, beginning June 3. See our calendar for show descriptions. The planetarium returns to it's normal Friday/Saturday evening public schedule for the August 8/9 weekend.
"Black Holes" returns for the dome! Showing Friday nights at 8pm
There's a place from which nothing escapes, not even light, where time and space literally come to an end. It's at this point, inside this fantastic riddle, that black holes exert their sway over the cosmos … and our imaginations. Narrated by actor Liam Neeson, this cutting-edge production features data generated by computer simulations to bring the current science of black holes to the dome screen. Audiences will be dazzled with striking, immersive animations of the formation of the early universe, star birth and death, the collision of giant galaxies, and a simulated flight to a super-massive black hole lurking at the center of our own Milky Way Galaxy. This fulldome show features visualizations created by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois. Adults $5; students, seniors, and kids $4, at the door.
It's a "Zula Summer" at the Staerkel Planetarium!!!
Summer matinees begin June 3 and will run Tuesday afternoons (1 & 2pm) and Thursday mornings (10 & 11am). There are two Zula Patroll fulldome programs. In "Under the Weather," our heroes of the Zula Patrol are on an expedition collecting samples of weather for scientist Multo's research -- using their loyal pet Gorga's ability to collect and bottle all kinds of weather. In "Down to Earth," the Zula Patrol turns up evidence that the villainous Deliria Delight has been travelling back in time to Earth’s prehistoric past to illegally dump her company’s toxic trash. Both shows are appropriate for children ages 4-9 and their families. Adults $5; students, seniors, and kids $4, at the door. See both back-to-back and get the second show half price!
The "World of Science" Lecture Series for 2014-2015
The line-up of speakers for the 2014-2015 lecture series is set and now appears here! The talks are all on Friday nights at 7pm and admission is only $1 at the door! Put these on your calendar!
See the Goose Kaler Meteorite Collection now on display in our lobby
On loan from the Kaler family, the meteorite collection contains samples from Canyon Diablo, Esquel (Argentina), Gibeon (Namibia), and Sikhote-Alin (Siberia). The "monster" of the collection is a 16 kilogram iron meteorite that you can touch. A brochure containing background information on the samples can be picked up in our lobby or you can download one here.