Planetarium open house offers a peek at the planets

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Augustana’s John Deere Planetarium (820 38th St.) will host an evening of stargazing, educational programs and planet viewing at its annual spring open house on Saturday, May 7, from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. In the event of cloudy sky conditions, indoor planetarium programs will still be offered. The public event is free; advance reservations are not required.

Saturn and the moon will be featured at this year’s open house. The planetarium’s telescope will reveal Saturn’s famous ring system and the craters and mountains of the moon. Other attractions include a quarter-ton piece of the Canyon Diablo meteorite on display in the Getz-Rogers Gallery and a planetarium show featuring brilliant images of the night sky.

The neighboring Fryxell Geology Museum, which features one of the best collections of minerals and fossils in the Midwest, also will be open to the public. Highlights of the museum include a wall of glowing rocks, casts of a Tyrannosaurus rex skull and a complete, 22-foot long skeleton of Cryolophosaurus, a carnivorous dinosaur discovered in Antarctica by one of Augustana’s own professors, Dr. William Hammer.

The observing areas are unheated, so please dress appropriately for the weather.

For more information, contact Kamy Beattie at kamybeattie@augustana.edu or 309-794-7721.