Fifty years ago, in 1967, the planetarium at Olivet Nazarene College opened its doors to the community. Since that time, hundreds of thousands of area students and adults have passed through its doors to experience the wonders of the universe! As a small thank-you to the community for decades of support, our public shows on the weekend of October 21st will be free to all. Come and help us celebrate the half-century mark, and join us in looking forward to another fifty years of discovery!


Of all the mysteries of the cosmos, the nature of dark matter is perhaps the most compelling. Learn more about what astronomers know and do not know about this elusive form of matter that fills the universe but is thus-far undetectable this month at the planetarium with showings of THE DARK MATTER MYSTERY. From distant galaxy clusters to the International Space Station, you'll learn about the pieces of this cosmic puzzle at the edge of our understanding. Showings this month on Saturday, November 4th and November 18th at 6 and 7:30 PM. THE DARK MATTER MYSTERY is suitable for all ages but geared more toward adult and older children. It is followed by a live introduction to the Kankakee skies and an additional ride on a thrilling space coaster. Tickets are $3 per person and available at the door. Update: due to technical maintenance, the November 18th public shows are cancelled. Check back soon for updates regarding our Christmas show.

About Strickler Planetarium:

Strickler Planetarium, located on the campus of Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois, is a state-of-the-art digital planetarium dedicated to educating the public about the natural world. The planetarium, constructed in 1967, has recently undergone extensive renovations, the centerpiece of which was the installation of a new Evans and Sutherland Digistar 3 SP2 HD digital projector. This projector has all the capabilities of the previous opto-mechanical star projector as well as exciting new multimedia and full-dome video capabilities. Audiences are immersed as never before in a three-dimensional visualization of the night sky, the solar system, the galaxy, and beyond. The Digistar’s stellar database means that simulated travel through space is more than simple special effects — it’s an actual journey through an accurate model of our stellar neighborhood.

Strickler Planetarium is one of only three planetaria in Illinois with digital projection capabilities. Witness the history of the universe from its fiery birth to the formation of our solar system. Explore colliding galaxies and the dusty reaches of our own Milky Way. Take a tour from our own night sky to the edge of the solar system. Our science educators and our multimedia tools make this all possible from the comfort of your seats. Come and see the new Strickler Planetarium.