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William M. Staerkel Planetarium

2400 W Bradley Avenue - Parkland College
Champaign, IL

Phone: 217-351-2446

Statement of Purpose

To provide an array of education and entertaining programming for college classes, area schools, and the community as a whole.

Highlights & Collections

The Staerkel Planetarium is the second largest planetarium in Illinois and the second largest community college planetarium in the known universe.

At its heart, a Carl Zeiss M1015 planetarium star machine projects over 7,000 stars, the Sun and Moon, five planets, plus many deep sky objects.

Nearly 60 slide projectors, all under computer control, plus a host of special effects add to the planetarium experience.

The Staerkel Planetarium also offers two-story tall films where you feel as if you are part of the action.

The lobby of the Staerkel Planetarium exhibits an original mural by Billy Morrow Jackson entitled "Cosmic Blink."

In addition to planetarium shows for schools and the community, outreach services are also offered to schools, libraries and civic groups.

Public shows are held on most Friday and Saturday evenings (except for holidays), including late night rock-n-roll light shows featuring the planetarium's 3,000 watt sound system.

In addition to the M1015 Star projector, the planetarium owns an educational simulation of a space shuttle space suit which the staff use in outreach programming.


Exhibits & Special Events:


The Staerkel Planetarium is open through the week for visiting school groups who reserved programs in advance. Public shows are held on most Friday and Saturday evenings at 7,8, and 9:30 p.m. Tickets are sold at the counter beginning 30 minutes prior to the show. No advanced tickets are sold. For a currrent schedule of shows, call the "showline" at 217-351-2446.

Admission & Directions

For regular public shows:

Prices subject to change.

Champaign lies at the intersection of three major highways in Illinois, Interstates 57, 74, and 72. The best way to get to Parkland is via I-72. Follow I-72 into Champaign and turn left at the very first stoplight - Country Fair Drive. Follow this drive until the road ends in a "T" and turn left onto Bradley Avenue. Parkland College will be on your right. Enter at the main Parkland sign and follow the perimeter drive around to the west side of the college.

The planetarium will appear as a large, cylindrical, brick "corn crib." The best parking lots are either M1 or C4

Key Personnel

Sandra Boileau, Dean of Continuing Education

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