The Christmas program, "Season of Light", created by Loch Ness
Productions, will be presented at the Planetarium on December 6-18.
On Monday through Friday the show starts at 7:00 p.m.
On Saturday and Sunday it starts at 2:00 p.m. The program lasts about 45 minutes and is recommended for ages 8 and above. Admission is free but reservations are required. Call (309) 794-7327.
A rare event occurs in early December when all of the naked-eye planets will be arrayed in the
evening sky. On the 2nd
and 3rd the moon passes faint Mars and brilliant Venus. By the 4th the moon, now a thick crescent,
is off to the right of bright Jupiter. On the 8th, the gibbous moon is very near
Saturn. Also in the line, but too faint to see without a telescope, are Uranus and
Collision between galaxies NGC4038 and NGC4039
Hubble picture - October 21, 1997
Launch: 3:43 am, October 15, 1997
The launch was successful!
Mission overview - Successful orbit - being adjusted by
| science objectives
| mirror sites
- Landing: July 4, 1997
- Stereo pictures - rover and Yogi
| monster panorama
| lander from rover
- Other Pathfinder pictures -
Presidential panorama (color)
- Mount Evans Meyer-Womble Observatory
- Highest in the world (14,125 ft)
- Sea of Galilee Astrophysical Observatory
- Lowest in the world (-200 m)
- Planetesimal Beyond Neptune - 1996 TL66
- Comet Hale-Bopp - Local pictures
- Augustana Observatory
The Carl Gamble Observatory, shown above, features a Celestron C14 computer-driven 14-inch reflector telescope. In addition to being used by various classes, the observatory is open to the public on special occasions such as to view an eclipse or a comet. It was open on various occasions for viewing
Comet Hyakutake and Comet Hale-Bopp.
A program about Comet Hale-Bopp was given in the planetarium and in the lecture hall at 7:00 pm on March 23, 1997, but viewing was hampered by cloudly skies. Later that same night, however, the skies cleared nicely to view the partial lunar eclipse between 9:00 and 11:00 pm. Then it became cloudy again. Approximately 250 people viewed the moon through the telescope during the eclipse. The moon became a beautiful reddish brown as shown above from about 10:15 to 10:50 pm. The maximum coverage of 92% was at 10:41. Click here
to see a great picture taken by David Hanon.
- John Deere Planetarium
A free illustrated program about the nighttime sky and the solar system is provided, by appointment, during the academic year for school classes (beginning with Grade 3) and other groups of up to 100 persons. The program, which lasts about 45 minutes and is in the dark, is presented by Dr. Mel Peterson, Director, using the Spitz A-3-P planetarium instrument.
Program appointments can be arranged by calling Kathy Nelson at the Planetarium, (309) 794-7327, or you
may request information by e-mail to Kathy Nelson at
The observatory and planetarium are located on the college campus at the 38th Street hill entrance, about one block south of 7th Avenue.
- Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum - Chicago
- Astronomy POD
- a service of Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA
- Cassini - Voyage to Saturn (1997 - 2004) - launch occured on October 15, 1997
- Comet Hyakutake -- Pictures
| Local viewing
- Comet Tabur - Local pictures
- David Hanon's excellent CCD images - comets, Messier objects, lunar eclipse, ...
- Galileo pictures
- Historical background -
Augustana planetarium and observatory - painting by Erwin Weber
- International Space Station - scheduled for launching first module - June 29, 1998
Latest Hubble Space Telescope observations
- Nine Planets
- Physics department at Augustana - HST picture of the Lagoon nebula
- Lunar occultations - SKY Online
- Shuttle program
| Earth-based photos of Atlantis and Mir
- SKY Online
- Publishers of Sky and Telescope magazine
- StarDate - scripts of a daily radio program heard at about 3:00 pm on WVIK, 90.3 FM
- Stardust - NASA mission to fly to Comet Wild 2 (vilt 2),
photograph it, capture interstellar and comet dust, and return to Earth. Current launch date - 1999.
- Star Hustler - scripts of a weekly 5-minute PBS TV program - locally on channel 12 at 10:30 pm every Friday
- Other favorite astronomy websites
Times for viewing the Mir spacecraft
Today at NASA
- What time is it? - Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)
Mel Peterson, Director
John Deere Planetarium
Rock Island, IL 61201
This site is maintained by David R. Renneke. Last update: December 10, 1997.