Augustana College's John Deere
Planetarium will be open to the public on Saturday, April 28, 2012 for
an evening of stargazing and planet viewing. The planetarium, located at 820
38th Street, Rock Island, will be open from 8:30 pm until 10:00 pm, with
indoor and outdoor programs in the planetarium, the Carl Gamble Observatory,
and the building's grounds. In the event of cloudy sky conditions, the
indoor planetarium programs will still be offered. There is no charge for
This year's open house
will feature a rare chance to see three planets on the same
evening! Venus, Mars and Saturn will all be visible for viewing
along with the first quarter Moon. Our telescopes will reveal
Saturn and its famous ring system, Venus's crescent phase and
the craters and mountains of the Moon. Also on display will be a
quarter-ton piece of the Canyon Diablo meteorite and a
planetarium show with images and information 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, will also be open to the public.
Highlights in the museum include a wall of glowing, fluorescent
rocks, and casts of a Tyrannosaurus rex skull, and a 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.