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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 August 29th and 30th for the Labor Day weekend.



The planetarium front doors will be inaccessiable during day hours due to construction at the adjacent Parkland Theatre. There will also be no entrance to our circle drive in front. The planetarium is still open! Patrons coming to our evening programming or summer matinees should park in the M-1 lot north of the dome, walk up the walk, and enter through our back entrance. Look for the signs. Groups visiting by way of buses should also go to the M-1 lot, north of the planetarium, and pull into the marked bus lane. Pull up as far as you can to let off the kids. You may park your bus here for the duration of the show. Cars should not park in the bus lane! A map can be found here.

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!







Dynamic Earth

"Dynamic Earth" now showing on Friday & Saturday nights at 8pm.

  New! “Dynamic Earth” is a new fulldome feature that explores the inner workings of Earth's climate system. With visualizations based on satellite monitoring data and advanced supercomputer simulations from NCSA, this cutting-edge production follows a trail of energy that flows from the Sun into the interlocking systems that shape our climate: the atmosphere, oceans, and the biosphere. Audiences will ride along on swirling ocean and wind currents, dive into the heart of a monster hurricane, come face-to-face with sharks and gigantic whales, and fly into roiling volcanoes.






"Santa" returns to the dome November 1 in "Santa's Secret Star"

What? Santa has lost his compass and can't find his way home? Sounds like a disaster in the making! Can the stars help? Learn about the day and night sky and how the stars seem to make pictures in the sky in our newest holiday show for young stargazers. Learn how YOU, too, can find Santa's secret star!





WOS Astronomer Dr. James Kaler visits the dome on December 5 to examine asteriods, 7pm

Millions of small bodies, the  asteroids, orbit the Sun mostly between the planets Mars and Jupiter.   Are they the failed remains of some ancient Earth destroyed by its own civilization?  No, but they aren't what you were taught in school either!  Recent discoveries show just how strange these asteroids really are and what they have to do with us.   After the talk you can even visit with some of them at the Goose Kaler Meteorite exhibit located in the planetarium lobby. Join Dr. Kaler in the dome on December 5 for a close look. Following his talk, we'll have a special unveiling in the lobby to open a unique exhibition from the Kaler family.   

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!

Season of LightHoliday special, "Season of Light" to open Thanksgiving weekend!

"Season of Light" traces the history and development of many of the world's holiday customs, all of which involve lighting up the winter season. "Seasons of Light" also recounts the historical religious and cultural rituals practiced during the time of winter solstice - not only Christian and Jewish, but also Celtic, Nordic, Roman, Irish, Mexican and Hopi. It also examines some of our more light-hearted seasonal traditions.  Showing Friday & Saturday night through December 20. Admission:  $5 adults; $4 students, seniors, children under 12. 




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.