Astronomy Fall Open House

Observatory and Planetarium
Augustana College
820 38th Street
Rock Island, Illinois


Saturday, October 20, 2012, 7:00-8:30 pm

The planetarium and observatory will be open to the public on Saturday, October 20, 2012 for the annual Astronomy Fall Open House. The planetarium will be open from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm, with indoor and outdoor programs led by planetarium director Dr. Lee Carkner.  Admission is free.

Visible for viewing this year will be the first quarter moon and the red planet Mars. The evening's events will also include a planetarium show where the wonders of the night sky will be presented on the facility's 30-foot dome with the Spitz A3P projector. Views of the Moon, planets, double stars and other astronomical objects may be provided via the 14-inch reflecting telescope in the Gamble Observatory.  There will also be a program in the John Deere Lecture Hall called "Curiosity Mars Rover".  This will include a demonstration of the Spacecraft 3D app displaying the rover on an iPad 2.

In addition, the Getz-Rogers Gallery, where images of celestial objects and a quarter-ton piece of the Canyon Diablo meteor are on display, will also be open to the public.

The Fryxell Geology Museum, which features one of the best collections of minerals and fossils in the Midwest, will also be open to the public.  Available for viewing are a Tyrannosaurus rex skull, the wall of glowing, fluorescent rocks and the complete 22-foot long skeleton of Cryolophosaurus, a large crested carnivorous dinosaur discovered in Antarctica.

The observing areas are unheated so dress appropriate to the weather. In the event of cloudy sky conditions, telescope views may not be possible but the indoor programs will still be offered.