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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 2017-2018 James B. Kaler Science Lecture Series 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.  The planetarium & theatre celebrate 30 years of operation this fall!     

Check out our solar eclipse site, updated with information and maps for the 2024 event - click on the Sun!  


Proud member of the new Champaign County Museums Network





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 autumn version of the show begins September 22.   The only exception to Prairie Skies is our "James B. Kaler Science Lecture Series."  The schedule is here



"Skywatchers of Africa," opens February 2, showing Fridays/Saturdays at 8pm this month


Originally produced by the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, “Skywatchers of Africa” is a celebration of many diverse African cultures and their observations and explanations of the yearly cycles of the heavens. Africa has many vibrant cultures thriving today, as well as countless past civilizations that continue to speak to us through their sky lore across time. Tickets are $6 adults, $5 students, seniors, & kids, all sold at the door.












"Amazing Stargazing!" returns January 20, 7pm


Learn all the sky watching basics with the fun radio DJs from “Radio Aahs.” Meet Aahsie and the gang as they happily explain the causes for day & night, moon phases, and the difference between comets and meteors. A great introduction to the night sky, originally produced by the Minneapolis Planetarium. Tickets are $6 adults, $5 students, seniors, & kids, all sold at the door.




Next talk in the James B. Kaler Science Lecture Series:  Cancer Research!


"Big Data, Precision Medicine, and Cancer Research"  March 2, 7pm

What is "big data" in the context of cancer research? Zeynep Madak-Erdogan, UIUC Assistant Professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, will discuss how we can utilize big data to personalize treatment choices for cancer patients. Admission is $2 at the door.









Special Matinee for President's Day (Feb. 19):   "Sunstruck!"


Travel back to the beginning of time and experience the birth of the Sun. Discover how it came to support life, how it threatens life as we know it, and how its energy will one day fade away!! Special sneak preview showing at 10am and 2pm on February 19. All tickets are $5 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 . . . . February 2/3, 2018

   * The Wall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . April 6/7









Command your own starship!   The Artemis Bridge Simulator returns to the dome June 9, 2018! 


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.   Some instruction will be given on basic game operation.  The cost is $13 per person.   Advance registration is required.  To register, go here:   There is also a link here to show how the game is played.   





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.