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Planetarium open house planned Nov. 5

The John Deere Planetarium at Augustana College will be open to the public from 7-8:30 p.m. Nov. 5.

The planetarium is located at 820 38th St., Rock Island. Visitors may park along 38th Street or in the Centennial Hall parking lot.

There will be indoor and outdoor programs 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.   

Views of astronomical objects, including the Moon and the planets Jupiter and Saturn will be provided via the telescopes of the Carl Gamble Observatory. The Getz-Rogers Gallery, where images of celestial objects and a quarter-ton piece of the Canyon Diablo meteor are on display, also will be open.

The adjacent Fryxell Geology Museum, which features one of the best collections of minerals and fossils in the Midwest, also will welcome 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 visitors should dress for the weather. In the event of cloudy skies, telescope views may not be possible but the indoor programs will be offered.


Dr. Lee Carkner, 309-794-7318

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