COVID Update:

The planetarium is open this year to both public and private groups. Masks are required per CDC recommendations 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 upcoming 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.

Dawn of the Space Age

Dawn of the Space Age

Dates:

Celebrate the Apollo lunar landing at the planetarium with an immersive adventure through the history of space exploration! Beginning with the launch of Sputnik, this presentation puts you in the cockpit of the most famous space missions, from Apollo to the International Space Station and beyond. With an all-star soundtrack and integrating actual audio from the first lunar missions, this show takes audiences on an inspirational journey that will appeal to children and adults alike. There are 30 and 45 minute versions of this show. Tickets $3/person.

 

 

 

 

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

Undiscovered Worlds

Undiscovered Worlds vista

Dates:

Visit the next frontier of astronomical discovery with this immersive presentation on the planets being discovered in orbit around distant stars. How do astronomers discover these new worlds and learn about their characteristics? UNDISCOVERED WORLDS takes viewers on a journey to the first exoplanets stars and explores the method of detecting these new objects. From blistering planets where rocks melt on the surface, to huge gas giants, to the Earth-like planets in the habitable zones of their parent stars UNDISCOVERED WORLDS is a thrilling and awe-inspiring vista of astronomical discovery. Running time: approximately 30 minutes. Themes: stellar evolution, spectroscopy, Doppler effect, planetary classification. Ages: middle school and up.

One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure

One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure

Dates:

Join Big Bird, Elmo, and a new friend as they explore the sky over Sesame Street and learn how the sky is the same in different parts of the world. Big Bird teaches the students about constellations, and Elmo uses his imagination to travel to the moon and learn the ways in which Earth and the moon are different. This show provides an interactive and musical introduction to the stars for the youngest stargazers. Topics include the sun as a star, sunrise and sunset, constellations, the North Star, and the moon. This show is for pre-school to early elementary school audiences and runs approximately 25 minutes. An optional 15-minute guided tour of the night sky can also be included for a total presentation period of 40 minutes.

ONE WORLD, ONE SKY is a production of Adler Planetarium, Sesame Workshop, Beijing Planetarium, and Liberty Science Center and was produced with major support from the National Science Foundation. ONE WORLD, ONE SKY is distributed by Loch Ness Productions.

Attack of the Space Pirates

Attack of the Space Pirates Theatrical Poster

Dates:

This full-dome presentation by the creators of The Secret of the Cardboard Rocket is educational fun for the entire family, a space thriller that puts the science back in science fiction. Join the crew of the Starship Intrepid as they race against time to put together clues and assemble an ancient alien technology.  Along the way they encounter various astronomical objects such as exoplanets, giant stars, pulsars, and black holes.

Topics discussed include the life cycles of stars, supernovae, and the way planetary systems evolve over time. Suitable for middle school to adult learners, this show places the viewer in the cockpit for an out-of-this-world learning adventure. Running time approximately 35 minutes, including live star talk.

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.