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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. Our summer matinees are now over and we are back to our normal Friday and Saturday evening public program schedule. The planetarium will be closed for winter break starting December 23.



We are pleased to report that the planetarium front doors are OPEN as well as the circle drive in front. Due to the new Fine & Applied Arts wing, patrons are still encouraged to park in the M-1 lot, north of the planetarium, but you may enter through our front doors. School buses may park in the planetarium circle drive to let off students. Thanks for your patience during the construction!

Happy New Year! The offices have reopened as of January 5 and our first public programs will occur on
January 16/17.

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! We will show you how to find Comet Lovejoy in our January skies!









New!  Imagine a scene 74,000 years ago, on the island of Sumatra. A volcanic eruption triggered the sudden and violent collapse of a vast plateau. Toba, as the volcano is known today, was the largest volcanic eruption in the last 25 million years. But Earth has seen far larger! 250 million years ago, an eruption in what's now Siberia lasted a million years and was probably responsible for the greatest episode of mass extinction in Earth's history.  “Supervolcanoes” looks back at rare classes of eruptions that have marshaled the energy that churns beneath the surface of planet Earth.  Is a supervolcano lurking beneath Yellowstone Park? 





Zula Patrol

"THE ZULA PATROL: DOWN TO EARTH" starts January 17, 7pm

While on a routine fossil-hunting expedition, 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. The Zula Patrollers must find and catch her, before her actions cause catastrophic consequences. In the process, our heroes learn all about the formation and development of Earth, and the life forms who call it home. Admission is $5 adults; $4 students, seniors, and children under 12, all at the door.







WOSEarth Science Instructor Julie Angel to visit on February 6, 7pm

On July 5, 2015, sixteen brave souls and four guides began an ascent up the face of America's most active volcano, Mount St. Helens, in Washington State. One of our souls, Julie Angel, will be at the planetarium for the next "World of Science" Lecture, entitled "Conquering Mt. St. Helens." Admission is just $1 at the door. The Mount St. Helens trip is one of several offered throughout the summer months by the Mt. St. Helens Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the general public understand and protect the volcano. They offer field seminars, lecture series, guided climbs, and other educational opportunities for people of all ages. Using many images, Ms. Angel will take us through the challenge of climbing the volcano, which had its last major eruption in 1980 but exhibited some activity in 2008.

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!


Staerkel exteriorTEACHERS! Come to our first annual Educator's Open House!

All teachers in the Parkland College district (and beyond) are invited to our first Educator's Open House on Thursday, February 26, 2015 from 4-7pm. The planetarium staff will be present to talk about how we can bestsupport your classroom instruction. We will show segments of shows for every grade level. You may show up and leave when you please, and it's free! Refreshments will be served in the lobby.



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.


Back to the Moon

President's Day Special, February 16. Special showing: "Back to the Moon . . . for Good!"

New!  In case you haven’t heard, the Moon is trending again… and in a big way. Like in the glory days of the 1960s and 1970s, our neighbor in space is enjoying the attention of lunar explorers. Only this time, they’re going back to the moon for good. “Back To The Moon For Good,” chronicles teams around the world competing for the largest incentivized prize in history, by landing a robotic spacecraft on the Moon for the first time in more than 40 years. This global competition is designed to spark imagination and inspire a renewed commitment to space exploration, not by governments or countries – but by the citizens of the world.   Showing at 10am and 2pm on February 16.  All tickets are $4 at the door. 




Harp concert

Coming in February . . . . A special "Valentines Weekend" Concert!

Following the success of Celestial Strings: An Evening of Harp and Stargazing, harpist Ann McLaughlin returns to the Staerkel Planetarium this February 13/14 for two live performances.  "Starry Night: Harp Music Under the Star-filled Sky" will take the audience on a delightful evening of music inspired by the celestial canopy above. Music, ranging from Classical to pops, will be synchronized with the star show.   Tickets are $5 per person, all sold at the door. 






Girl Scout and Boy Scout badge workshops are coming up in April and May! Advance registration is required.