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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!  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 sping version of the show begins March 17.   




"The Dark Matter Mystery" Fridays & Saturdays, 8pm


New! What keeps Galaxies together? What are the building blocks of the Universe? What makes the Universe appear the way it looks today? We know today that approximately a quarter of the Universe is filled with a mysterious glue: Dark Matter. We know that it is out there. But we have no idea what it is consists of. Join us on the biggest quest of contemporary astrophysics as we explore evidence for Dark Matter both in space and deep underground. Produced by the planetarium in Laupheim, Germany. Tickets are $6 adults, $5 students, seniors, & kids, all sold at the door. 













Our Coyote explores the Earth, Moon & Sun, Saturdays at 7pm


Explore the relationships between the Earth, the Moon, and the Sun with the help of Coyote, an amusing character adapted from Native American oral traditions who has many misconceptions about our neighbors in space. His confusion makes us think about how the Earth, Moon and Sun work as a system as we distinguish between myth and science. Examine how the Sun rises and sets and how the Sun shines, then learn about craters on the Moon, phases and eclipses. Tickets are $6 adults, $5 students, seniors, & kids, all sold at the door











August's Solar Eclipse to be featured in a May 5 talk, 7pm


On Monday, August 21, nearly 12 million Americans will trek to the centerline to view the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse since 1918. Planetarium director Dave Leake will use the planetarium dome to talk about what causes solar eclipses, why are they so rare, where you need to be to see this event, and what you’ll see if you stay in Champaign-Urbana. Solar eclipses are one of nature’s spectacles but they can be very dangerous unless you take the appropriate precautions. Dave will also discuss how to safely observe the event and how you can see the eclipse from near the centerline. Tickets are $2 per person 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:

   * Dark Side of the Moon . . . . .June 2, August 4/5

   * The Wall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . July 7








Laser Shows Return to the Dome!    April 28/29 & May 5/6


The SkyLase laser projection system from Audio Visual Imagineering returns to the dome for the last weekend in April and first weekend in May. Check out our calendar for the laser shows those weekends.  Tickets are $8 at the door or listen to win tickets on Rewind 92.5.   

     April 28:

         9:30pm = Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon

        10:30pm = Pink Floyd's The Wall

    April 29:

         9:30pm = Laser Country (Garth, Willie, George Strait, Rascal Flatts, Zac Brown & more!)

       10:30pm = Laser Zeppelin


May 5:
9:30pm = The Beatles
10:30pm = Laser Retro (Tears for Fears, Depeche Mode, New Order, the Cure, INXS, and more!)

May 6:
9:30pm = Laser X (Foo Fighters, Alice in Chains, Rammstein, White Zombie, and more!)
10:30pm = Metallica!


Command your own starship!   The Artemis Bridge Simulator returns July 8! 


Get a team of 6-8 people together and register for a two hour time slot to fly the Starship Artemis.   A member of your team will staff bridge stations, including weapons control, helm, engineering, science, communications, and, of course, captain.   Teams play against the game in two hour time slots, beginning at 9am.   Some instruction will be given on basic game operation.  To register your team, click here!  The cost is $12.50 per person. 






Coming Soon . . . . . .Summer Matinees featuring a new children's show! 


Summer matinees begin on June 6 at 1pm & 2pm on Tuesdays and 10am & 11am on Thursdays.  And we'll feature a new show:  "The Little Star That Could."  Journey with “Little Star,” an average yellow star, in search of planets of his own to protect and warm. Along the way, he meets other stars, learns what makes each star special, why they are different colors and how they combine to form star clusters and galaxies. Let’s hope a delightful cast of characters including “Pearl” and “Big Daddy” can help “Little Star” find some planets! Updated and adapted to fulldome video by Audio Visual Imagineering. This show hasn’t been seen on our dome for 20 years! Perfect for K-3 audiences. Admission is $6 adults; $5 for students, seniors, and kids under 12, available 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.