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 email@example.com. The fall, 2015 schedule is updated - See our calendar for what's playing.
** Our summer matinees are over and we are back to our Friday/Saturday evening public programming! See our calendar for a full schedule. You don't need a reservation - all tickets are sold at the door! We will be closed September 4th & 5th for the Labor Day weekend.
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! Though our New Horizons Pluto show is now over, we'll be putting new Pluto images into "Prairie Skies" as they become available. Our fall show begins September 18.
"Odyssey" begins on August 7 as we return to regular Fri/Sat night programming
The quest to comprehend the universe is an ancient one, beginning when our first ancestors looked up into the sky and wondered. "Odyssey" takes us on a personal voyage of discovery through the cosmos, from the legends and monuments of early sky watchers to an imaginary flight through the Solar System and our home galaxy, and into the very depths of space and time. Come . . .take a ride! Admission is $5 adults, $4 students, seniors, and children under 12.
The Solar System Safari begins September 12
A jungle adventurer uses a magical camera to take visitors on an exciting safari through the Solar System. The Sun, Moon, planets, and dwarf planets come to life, taking on unique personalities and describing their own characteristics and eccentricities. Learn about the planets and the current status of Pluto. Admission is $5 adults, $4 students, seniors, and children under 12.
Ann McLaughlin returns to the dome for a final performance
Harpist Ann McLaughlin returns to Staerkel Planetarium this September following the immense success of her past show Starry Night: Harp Music Under the Star-filled Sky. This exciting event will include works from Debussy to Piazzolla, Henry Mancini to John Williams all synchronized to the star show. Come join McLaughlin as she kicks off her 2015 Celestial Strings Planetarium Tour in her "home" planetarium. The show is sure to be an unforgettable experience! Two performances . . . September 18, 8:30pm and a matinee on September 19 at 2pm. Tickets are $5 per person, all sold at the door .
Special Matinee! "From Earth to the Universe"
School is out for some on September 23. . .why not take in a brand new planetarium show? The planetarium will show "From the Earth to the Universe" at 10am and you don't need a reservation. Regular rates apply and all tickets will be sold at the door. The night sky has been the subject of campfire stories, ancient myths, and awe since there have been people. We all share a desire to comprehend the universe. Experience this journey of celestial discovery!
See a Total Lunar Eclipse on Sunday, September 27!
The “harvest Moon” will pass into the shadow of the Earth, resulting in a total lunar eclipse, on Sunday evening, September 27. The event begins just after 8pm and will last until almost 11:30pm. If skies are clear, anyone in the Midwest should be able to see the eclipse from their backyard. Those wanting to see the eclipse through a telescope can visit the William M. Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College, beginning at 8pm. The CU Astronomical Society will have telescopes set-up outside in bus drop-off drive. Patrons should park in the M-1 lot and walk over. For more info on the eclipse, click here!
Every wanted to command your own starship?
The William Staerkel Planetarium will enter the world of gaming on October 12 as we play the Artemis Bridge Simulator in the dome. The program networks several computers together simulating duty stations aboard a starship, including Captain, Science, Helm, Communications, Engineering and Weapons Control. Players must work together to defeat the game. Cooperation is encouraged! Sound and lighting effects add to the experience! You can see a tutorial of the game here. Advance registration is required! Click here for more info.
"Backyard Astronomy" workshop returns this fall
Dive into the world of amateur stargazing! Learn how to read a star chart, how to locate stars and planets, how to watch meteor showers, how the Moon changes phase, and how telescopes work in this five week series. The workshop will meet for five consecutive Tuesdays beginning October 20, from 7-8:30pm. Pre-registration is mandatory! The cost is $15 for adults and $10 for students, seniors, and kids 8 and over. Kids must be accompanied by an adult. The deadline to register is October 13. For a registration form, click here.
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.