Augustana College printing logo

Planetarium open house on April 20

March  13, 2013

Augustana College’s John Deere Planetarium (820 38th Street, Rock Island) will be open to the public on Saturday, April 20, for a free evening of stargazing and planet viewing. The planetarium will be open from 8:30 to 10 p.m., with indoor and outdoor programs.

“This year’s open house will feature views of Jupiter, the solar system’s largest planet, and Saturn, with its magnificent ring system” said Dr. Lee Carkner, associate professor of physics. “Our telescopes will reveal both planets as well as the mountains and craters of the Earth’s Moon.”

Just outside the planetarium in the Getz-Rogers Gallery, full-color images from the Hubble Space Telescope and a quarter-ton piece of the Canyon Diablo meteor will be displayed with interpretive information. The nearby Fryxell Geology Museum also will be open to the public.

According to Dr. Carkner, the museum houses “one of the best collections of minerals and fossils in the Midwest,” a wall of glowing, fluorescent rocks, a cast of a Tyrannosaurus rex skull, and a 22-foot fossil skeleton of Cryolophosaurus ellioti, a large carnivorous dinosaur discovered in Antarctica by Augustana paleontologist Dr. William Hammer.

The observation areas are unheated, so dress according to the weather. In the event of cloudy weather, telescope views may not be possible, but the indoor programs will be offered.

For more information, please contact Gail Parsons at (309) 794-7318.

Sam Schlouch
Director, Public Relations and Arts Promotion
(309) 794-7833
samschlouch@augustana.edu