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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

Spring open house May 11

The John Deere Planetarium will be open to the public from 9-10:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, 2019, for an evening of stargazing and planet viewing.

There will be indoor and outdoor programs in the planetarium, the Carl Gamble Observatory, and the building's grounds. In the
event of cloudy skies, indoor programs will still be offered.

This year’s open house will feature Mars and views of the mountains and craters of moon from our telescopes. 
night sky.

The Fryxell Geology Museum will also be open to the public. 

Programs by appointment

A free illustrated program about the nighttime sky and the solar system is provided at the planetarium, by appointment, during the academic year for classes beginning with third grade, and for other groups of up to 60 persons. The 45-minute program is presented by Dr. Lee Carkner, director, using a Digitarium Lambda laser projector. Call 309-794-7318.

The observatory features a Celestron C14 computer-driven 14-inch reflector telescope. The observatory is open to the public on special occasions.

Full-dome shows with new projector

The planetarium unveiled a new digital projection system in time for its annual Seasons of Light show in December 2018. (Read more)

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 or email Jennifer Milner for more information or program appointments.


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

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