COVID Update:

The planetarium is re-open this summer to both public and private groups. Seating for public shows is limited to provide social-distanced seating options, and masks are required for anyone without full COVID immunity. For school groups, the planetarium capacity with reduced seating is 30 to comply with ISBE guidelines. If you're interested in scheduling a show for a school or private group, please use our show reservation request form. Check below for a summer public show schedule!

Doorway of Strickler Planetarium

 

Ten years ago, the planetarium took a quantum leap forward with the replacement of our venerable Spitz A4 opto-mechanical star projector and the installation of a completely digital Evans and Sutherland Digistar 3 projection system. Now, a decade later, a generous alumni gift in honor of Professor Dwight Stickler has allowed us to upgrade the planetarium's computers, software, and control systems to the brand-new Digistar 6 platform. 

What does this mean for our visitors? When you walk in the doors, you might not notice anything different, as all the updates have been "under the hood"-- but in reality visitors to the planetarium now have a completely new universe at their fingertips. In addition to offering all our previous programming, the Digistar 6 allows a host of new real-time simulations for visiting groups and classes. From high-resolution explorations of the surface of Earth and other planets, to flights through the solar system and beyond, to up-to-the-minute updates on new astronomical discoveries, the Strickler Planetarium is now an even more powerful educational and outreach tool. 

Have you ever wished your class could fly to Jupiter to learn more about its system of moons? Would you like to interact with three-dimensional surveys of distant galaxies and quasars? Do you want to give your class a satellite's-eye view of developing weather systems on Earth? Whatever your group's curricular or educational needs, our trained operators can take you there. More than this though, we can put your audience in the pilot's seat.

Don't just learn about the universe.
Explore it.

Skywatch Live

Skywatch Live

Dates:

Explore the universe with a live, interactive presentation showcasing the planetarium's brand-new Digistar 6 projection system. From the skies over Kankakee County to the edge of the known universe, we'll witness this month's astronomical highlights, learn the season's constellations, and get updates on current space missions. Then we'll travel from the solar system to our galactic neighborhood and on to the limits of the observable cosmos using realtime simulations that put the audience in the pilot's seat. The planetarium is open. Come fly the universe. 

We Are Aliens

We Are Aliens

Dates:

Are we alone in the universe? It's one of the oldest questions in astronomy, whether there is life elsewhere in the universe. In this presentation, join narrator Rupert Grint on an exploration of the possibility of life in our solar system and beyond. Learn how what we're discovering about life on our own planet is changing our perceptions regarding the search for life in the universe. From robotic explorers of the Red Planet to the realization that our galaxy is home to potentially millions of Earth-like worlds, this planetarium show will inspire and educate. Appropriate for upper elementary to adult audiences. Topics covered include extremophile biology, exoplanets, the watery interior of Europa, and the design, construction, and launch of a Martian rover. Running time approximately 30 minutes, 45 minutes with live star talk and discussion.

STARS

STARS

Dates:

Narrated by Star Wars' Mark Hamill and with a soundtrack performed by the Nashville Orchestra, this show explores the dynamic life and death of stars, the powerhouses of the universe.  This show is suitable for general audiences and educationally geared toward middle school level and above.  STARS explores star birth, giant stars, pulsars, and black holes as well as a providing a brief history of astronomy and an introduction to our solar system, the galaxy, and the nature of light.  Running time approximately 35 minutes, including live star talk.

STARS is a production of Adventure Science Center, Sudekum Planetarium, Nashville, TN

About Strickler Planetarium

 

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, was extensively renovated in 2008 and transitioned from an opto-mechanical star projector to a fully digital projection system. In 2019, the planetarium's capabilities were again upgraded to a brand-new Digistar 6 system. 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 realtime database means that simulated travel through space is more than simple special effects — it’s an actual journey through an accurate model of the known universe, with the audience in the pilot's seat!

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.