The Illinois State University Planetarium will present Incoming! Asteroids, Comets, and the Hard-Hitting Stories of Our Cosmic Origins, narrated by Star Trek’s George Takei, weekends from January 25 to May 4. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. There will be no presentations during Illinois State’s spring break March 8-16 or April 19-20.
Asteroids and comets have collided with our planet throughout its history, changing the course of life on Earth and shaping the world we know today. Incoming! explores the past, present, and future of our Solar System and the landmark discoveries scientists have made sending spacecraft to visit tiny worlds.
The program’s cutting-edge visualizations brings real-time data from current NASA missions to life while taking you on a ride through the dynamic story of our cosmic origins. Along the way, you will discover what these impacts from above can teach us—and how scientific advances may allow us to find and track cosmic threats before they reach planet Earth.
The Planetarium will also offer Phantom of the Universe: The Hunt for Dark Matter, narrated by Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton. The program runs weekends from January 26 to May 4. Showtimes are 2 p.m. Saturdays. There will be no presentations during Illinois State’s spring break March 8-16 or April 19-20.
Phantom of the Universe delves into the exploration of dark matter, from the Big Bang to its anticipated discovery at the Large Hadron Collider.
Experience the first hints of dark matter through the eyes of Fritz Zwicky, the scientist who coined the term. Explore the astral choreography witnessed by Vera Rubin in the Andromeda galaxy and then plummet deep underground to see the most sensitive dark matter detector on Earth, housed in a former gold mine.
Finally, journey across space and time to the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, speeding alongside particles before they collide in visually stunning explosions of light and sound, while learning how scientists around the world are collaborating to track down the constituents of dark matter.
After each program, Planetarium staff will discuss highlights found in the current evening sky; including the bright stars, constellations, and planets visible from Central Illinois.
Admission to the ISU Planetarium is $4 for adults, $3 for children ages 5-12 and seniors, and $2 for children ages 3-4. Tickets may be purchased in the Planetarium Gift Shop, next to the Planetarium, beginning 20 minutes before each show. Seating is limited.
The ISU Planetarium is located under the white-domed roof at the eastern end of Felmley Hall of Science Annex. Felmley Hall is located on the northeast corner of the ISU campus at the intersection of College Avenue and School Street.
Free parking for the weekend programs is available a short distance from the ISU Planetarium in University parking lot F-67, located on the east side of School Street.
For more information, please call the ISU Physics Department at (309) 438-8756 or visit the Illinois State University Planetarium website.