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John Deere Planetarium and Carl Gamble Observatory

Stargazing, educational programs and planet viewing are offered to the community as well as campus. A yearly highlight is the Season of Light holiday show.

John Deere Planetarium and Carl Gamble Observatory

Fall Open House Oct. 28

The John Deere Planetarium will be open to the public from 7:30-9 p.m. Oct. 28 for the annual Fall Open House. Indoor and outdoor programs will be led by planetarium director Dr. Lee Carkner. Admission is free.

The evening’s events will 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 astronomical objects, including the planet Saturn and the first quarter moon will be provided via the telescopes of the Carl Gamble Observatory.

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 be open. 

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

For more information contact Dr. Lee Carkner at 309-794-7318.

A passion for the stars, a mission for Augustana

In 1969, a Saturn V rocket thrust Apollo 11 towards the moon. That same year, Augustana College threw open the doors to its new John Deere Planetarium and Carl Gamble Observatory. (Read more)


Open to the public during special events; call 309-794-7318 for more information.


820 38th St.
Rock Island, IL 61201
United States

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