Saturn photo gallery
Astronomy Day Open House

Observatory and Planetarium
Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois

Saturday, April 30, 2005, 8:30-10:00 pm
Augustana College's John Deere Planetarium will be open to the public on Saturday, April 30 for the annual Spring Open House. The planetarium, located at 820 38th Street, Rock Island, will be open from 8:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m., with indoor and outdoor programs in the planetarium, the Carl Gamble Observatory, and the building's grounds.

This year's open house will feature views of the planets Saturn and Jupiter. These are the two largest planets in the solar system and look spectacular when viewed through the telescope. The rings of Saturn, the cloud bands of Jupiter and the moons of each planet are all clearly visible. The two planets are ideally situated for viewing right now with Jupiter close to opposition, the time when it appears largest and brightest in the sky.

The John Deere Planetarium has a variety of other activities planned for the open house. The telescopes of the Carl Gamble Observatory will offer views of other astronomical objects such as double stars and star clusters. The Getz-Rogers Gallery will be displaying images of celestial objects and a quarter-ton piece of the Canyon Diablo meteor. In addition, visitors will be able to attend a planetarium show with images and information on the wonders of the night sky.

Planetarium Director Dr. Lee Carkner will be joined by Director Emeritus Dr. Mel Peterson, members of the Augustana College Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Augustana College Physics Club in leading the programs and in answering visitor questions.

The observatory is unheated so please dress as appropriate for the weather. In the event of cloudy sky conditions, the indoor planetarium programs will still be offered. There is no charge for admission. For more information contact Dr. Lee Carkner at 309-794-7327.

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