The Illinois State University Planetarium will present a journey to three world-class observatories in Big Astronomy: People, Places, Discoveries, at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays, beginning August 13. 

This full-dome planetarium show explores Chile’s rugged Andes Mountains and arid Atacama Desert, both remote, extreme regions that offer perfect conditions for astronomical research. There, visit the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) and Gemini South Observatory, which use optical telescopes to collect and magnify visible light with giant mirrors. Then, trek to the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA), a radio telescope with 66 networked antennae that collect radio waves from deep space. The show features an inspiring cast of astronomers, engineers, technicians, and support staff who keep these incredible telescopes running. 

After each program, Planetarium staff will point out highlights found in the current evening sky, including the bright stars, constellations, and planets visible from Central Illinois. 

Admission to the ISU Planetarium is $5 for adults, $4 for children ages 5-12 and seniors, and $3 for children ages 3-4. Tickets are available in the Planetarium Gift Shop, next to the Planetarium, beginning 20 minutes before each show. 

The ISU Planetarium is located under the white-domed roof at the eastern end of Felmley Hall of Science Annex at the intersection of College Avenue and School Street in Normal. 

Following the latest CDC guidance and Illinois State University procedures, face coverings are required in all University common indoor spaces, including the Planetarium. 

For more information, please call the ISU Physics Department at (309) 438-8756 or visit our website by Googling Illinois State University Planetarium.