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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 of public programs. You don't need a reservation - all tickets are sold at the door!  The Spring, 2017 schedule is now live!  Visit us at Parkland College, celebrating its 50th anniversary year!     Check out our new solar eclipse site for 2017 - click on the Sun! 


Traditional "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 winter version of the show begins January 20.   




"The Stargazer" opens January 20, 8pm


Come along on a journey to the stars with University of Illinois Astronomer James B. Kaler in an exciting program written and produced by the Great Lakes Planetarium Association. Nichelle Nichols (from the original "Star Trek") and Dr. Kaler narrate this personal look at gravity, light, and the spectrum and how they help us decipher the lifestyles of the stars. The Stargazer has been updated and adapted for fulldome video! Tickets are $6 adults, $5 students, seniors, & kids, all sold at the door.












"One World, One Sky:  Big Bird's Adaventure" Saturdays at 7pm, beginning January 21


Explore the night sky with our friends from Sesame Street. Join Big Bird, Elmo, and Hu Hu Zhu as they take an imaginary trip to the Moon. See how the Moon is different from the Earth and learn how to find the Big Dipper and North Star from your backyard. "One World, One Sky" comes to us through a generous grant from the PNC Foundation and their "Grow Up Great" program. Tickets are $6 adults, $5 students, seniors, & kids, all sold at the door








March 3 "World of Science" talk to focus on Winter Storms


Every winter, cold air plunges southward from the frigid regions of northern North America and the Arctic, overspreading much of the contiguous United States. As the air crosses over the Great Lakes, the lower atmosphere is dramatically changed from being dry and cold to filled with clouds and snow. This process produces the “snowbelt” regions near the lakes and sometimes results in storms dropping more than 3 feet of snow. Dr. Kristovich will discuss the challenges of taking measurements in these extreme snow storms, what we know and don’t know about them, and how new technologies (such as atmospheric LiDAR systems) are giving us new insights into how they form.  David Kristovich, head of the Climate & Atmospheric Science Section of the Illinois State Water Survey, will deliver “Observing the Worst Winter Storms East of the Rockies” on March 3 at 7pm.  Admission is $2 at the door.   




Starlight Productions presents Pink Floyd's "The Wall" fulldome show


Thanks to Starlight Productions we are now showing Pink Floyd fulldome shows one weekend per month.  These are not laser shows, but fulldome movies with imagery accompanying both "Dark Side of the Moon" and "The Wall."   Admission is $6 per person at the door.   See:

   * The Wall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . March 3 & 4

   * Dark Side of the Moon . . . . .April 7 & 8


    Laser shows return to the dome April 28/29 and May 5/6






Just added. . . .live concert featuring improvised light & sound, April 14/15


The planetarium will welcome Allen Wu (laptop), Barry Morse (trumpet/theremin),John Nichols (laptop) and Jason Finkelman (percussion) to the dome for a special live performance on Friday, April 14 and Saturday, April 15, at 9:30pm each night.  The improvised music will be accompanied by visuals on the dome.   Tickets for "Shadows From the Sun" are $10 for adults, $5 for students (with ID) and children, sold at the door. 












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.




Interested in sponsoring one of our new seats? 


The planetarium is beginning a program where individuals or companies may sponsor one of our new seats for that special someone.   The one-time, tax deductible $400 sponsorship will result in a plaque permanently affixed to the seat of your choice, plus we'll recognize donors online. Funds will be deposited in the planetarium's unrestricted foundation account and will go to support future planetarium programming.  For information, call or email Dave Leake at 217/351-2567.