Augustana College's John Deere Planetarium and Fryxell Geology Museum will be open to the public on Saturday night, April 21, 2018 for an evening of stargazing, planet viewing and fossil and mineral exploration. The planetarium, located at 820 38th Street, Rock Island, will be open from 8:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m., 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 admission.
This year’s open house will feature Venus, the beautiful evening “star”. Our telescopes will also reveal the mountains and craters of the Earth’s Moon and views of other heavenly bodies. 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.