Public invited to planetarium for open house and planet viewing

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Rock Island, Ill.– Augustana College's John Deere Planetarium will be open for an evening of stargazing and planet viewing on Saturday, April 25, 8:30–10 p.m. The open house will feature programs in the planetarium and Carl Gamble Observatory, and outside the building. In the event of a cloudy sky, the indoor planetarium programs still will be offered. The event is free and open to the public.

This year’s open house will feature two bright planets: Jupiter, the king of the solar system, and Venus, our nearest neighbor. Our telescopes will reveal the planets as well as the mountains and craters of the Earth’s Moon. Also on display will be a quarter-ton piece of the Canyon Diablo meteorite and a planetarium show on the wonders of the night sky.

The 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 in the museum include a wall of glowing, fluorescent rocks, a cast of a Tyrannosaurus rex skull, and a complete 22-foot long skeleton of Cryolophosaurus, a large crested carnivorous dinosaur discovered in Antarctica.

The John Deere Planetarium is located at 820 38th Street, on Augustana’s campus. Please dress appropriately for the weather, as the observation areas are unheated.

For more information contact Dr. Lee Carkner at (309) 794-7318 or visit the planetarium website at