The planetarium will re-open this May at the conclusion of the university semester to both public and private groups. Seating for public shows will be limited according to social distancing guidelines, and masks are required. 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!
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.