Planetarium open house offers evening of stargazing

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Augustana College’s John Deere Planetarium (820 38th ST) will host an evening of stargazing, educational programs and planet viewing at its annual fall open house on Saturday, Oct. 19, from 7:30-9 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

 The evening’s events will include a planetarium show, in which the wonders of the night sky will be presented on the facility’s 30-foot dome with the Spitz A3P projector, views of astronomical objects, including the full moon will be provided via the 14-inch reflecting telescope in the Gamble Observatory.

The Getz-Rogers Gallery, where images of celestial objects and a quarter-ton piece of the Canyon Diablo meteor are on display, and the nearby Fryxell Geology Museum will be open to the public as well.

“The Fryxell Geology Museum features one of the best collections of minerals and fossils in the Midwest,” said Dr. Lee Carkner, professor of physics.

The geology museum includes a wall of glowing, fluorescent rocks, casts of a Tyrannosaurus rex skull; and a complete 22-foot long skeleton of Cryolophosaurus, a large crested carnivorous dinosaur discovered by Augustana paleontologist Dr. William Hammer in Antarctica.

 Observation areas are unheated, so guests are encouraged to dress appropriately to the weather. In the event of cloudy sky conditions, telescope views may not be possible, but the indoor programs will still be

For more information contact Dr. Carkner at (309) 794-7327 or visit the Planetarium website at