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Galaxy Club


Parkland Staerkel Planetarium photo
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 See our calendar for what's playing.  The 2016-2017 "World of Science" lecture has been finalized. See the line-up of speakers here.



See our calendar for a full schedule. You don't need a reservation - all tickets are sold at the door!  Our summer matinees are now over and we return to Friday/Saturday night programming.   Be sure to check our calendar for a line-up of public programs!  Visit us at Parkland College, celebrating its 50th anniversary year!     

Prairie SkiesTraditional "Live" planetarium at its best! "Prairie Skies" Friday nights at 7pm

Take a live tour of the current night sky (and not have to swat mosquitoes)! Learn how to find the current constellations and planets, plus hear a few of the legendary stories featuring the imaginary figures above us!  The autumn version of the show begins September 23.   







 Begins August 5, "Cosmic Colors"   

"Cosmic Colors" will take you on a wondrous journey across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Discover the many reasons for color—like why the sky is blue and why Mars is red. Take a tour within a plant leaf and journey inside the human eye. Investigate x-rays by voyaging to a monstrous black hole and then back at your doctor’s office. You will even see the actual color of a dinosaur--based on recent evidence. Get ready for an amazing adventure under a rainbow of cosmic light! Produced by the Great Lakes Planetarium Association. Admission is $6 adults; $5 students, seniors, and children under 12.










"In My Backyard" returns August 6

Let’s explore the night sky from our own backyards! Through use of story-telling, poetry and songs, children are encouraged to participate in the show while learning about the seasons, Ursa Major, planets, meteors, and the Moon. Narrated by Fred Penner. Admission is $6 adults; $5 students, seniors, and children under 12.














Coming soon . . . . "Solar Superstorms!" 


A fury is building on the surface of the Sun - high velocity jets, fiery tsunami waves reaching 100,000 km high, and rising loops of electrified gas. What is driving these strange phenomena and will they affect Earth? Find out in this new production, featuring scientific visualizations from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) on the UIUC campus. Peer into the Sun using the latest scientific data.  Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch.   This show is sponsored by SuperValu.   Opens September 9! 








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.



  Coming this fall . . . . . .the return of music in the dome! 

Laser shows will return to the planetarium dome for the weekends just before and just after Halloween.   Look at the calendar section for a full schedule (but you can bet Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" and "The Wall" will be in the line-up!).  We will also offer two "Fright Night" laser shows at 7pm and 8pm on Halloween night, plus two family-friendly educational laser programs about legends of the night sky on October 29 and November 5 at 7pm.     Listen to win laser tickets on Rewind 92.5.  We have also acquired two Pink Floyd fulldome shows (which is not a laser show) from Starlight Productions that we'll run one weekend a month.   Again, check the calendar section.  The fall calendar should be up soon!   








The Artemis Bridge Simulator returns to the dome on November 12!


Ever wanted to command your own starship?   Thanks to Deane Geiken (WPCD radio), the Starship Artemis returns!   Teams of six can register to perform tasks on the bridge, such as Weapons control, Science, Helm, Engineering, Communications, and of course Captain.  Teams work together to defeat the game.  The cost is $10 per person or $50 for a team of six to play in a two-hour time slot.  Two slots are filled already - we have 11-1pm and 1-3pm available.   Instruction on how to play the game will be provided.   Team members ages 13 and over please.  Advanced registration is required!   To register, call 351-2568 between 8am and 5pm. You can also watch for $2 a person.