The Augustana College astronomy program is committed to sharing the wonders of the night sky through the John Deere Planetarium and the Carl Gamble Observatory. Our courses challenge students to think critically about the fundamental questions of the universe and our place in it. In addition, the astronomy program offers programs for local school children and members of the general public.
Carl Gamble Observatory
The Carl Gamble Observatory features a Celestron C14 computer-driven 14-inch reflector telescope. In addition to being used by various classes, the observatory is open to the public on special occasions, such as an annual Fall open house, "Season of Light" at the holidays and Astronomy day. It was also open for viewing Comet Hyakutake, Comet Hale-Bopp and a recent lunar eclipse.
John Deere Planetarium
A free illustrated program about the nighttime sky and the solar system is provided at the John Deere Planetarium, by appointment, during the academic year for school classes and other groups of up to 100 persons. The program, which lasts about 45 minutes and is in the dark, is presented by Dr. Lee Carkner, planetarium director, using the Spitz A-3-P planetarium instrument.