Herbert Trackman Planetarium


The Planetarium is dedicated to continuing its tradition of outstanding astronomical instruction and entertainment featuring a 30 ft diameter dome and a new OmniStar Digital planetarium projector. Our shows include sky tours and presentations on a wide range of astronomical topics.

  • Open to the Public

    The public is invited for our public shows, located in F-Building on the Main Campus. For information about shows, contact Art Maurer, Planetarium Director, at 815- 280-2601.

    Grade school and high school groups are encouraged to schedule special programs that may be presented during the school day. These free, public service programs are tailored to the grade level of students attending the program.

    Social and civic organizations also are invited to schedule programs for their members. These programs are available during the day and on Tuesday or Thursday evenings. Reservations are required.

    To schedule arrangements for these special programs, contacting Gina Foote at 815-280-2525 or email fieldtripcoordinator@jjc.edu.

  • Show Schedule

    Tuesday Shows-Begin at 7:30pm

    09/12/17 Seasonal Skies

    9/26/17 Dark Matter

    10/10/17 Sunstruck

    10/24/17 Orbits

    11/07/17 Two Small Pieces of Glass

    11/21/17 How to Choose a Telescope

    12/05/17 Story of the Christmas Star

    12/17/17 (Sunday) 2:30pm

    Story of the Christmas Star

    12/19/17 no show- See show on 12/17/17

    01/02/18 Solar System

    01/16/18 Dark Matter

    01/30/18 Galileo

    02/13/18 Sunstruck

    02/27/18 Mars

    03/13/18 Two Small Pieces of Glass

    03/27/18 Seasonal Skies

    04/10/18 Humans and Robots in Space

    04/24/18 Orbits

    05/08/18 Asteroids and Comets

    05/22/18 Black Holes

    06/05/18 Seasonal Skies

    Thursday Shows Begin at 6:30pm

    09/21/17 Sunstruck

    10/05/17 Larry Cat in Space*

    10/19/17 Solar System

    11/02/17 The Little Star That Could*

    11/16/17 Dark Matter

    11/30/17 We Go to the Moon*

    12/14/17 Story of the Christmas Star

    12/28/17 no show-School Closed

    01/11/18 Seasonal Skies

    01/25/18 Larry Cat in Space*

    02/08/18 Galileo

    02/22/18 The Little Star That Could*

    03/08/18 Seasonal Skies

    03/22/18 Humans and Robots in Space

    04/05/18 Sunstruck

    04/19/18 We Go to the Moon*

    05/03/18 Larry Cat in Space*

    05/17/18 Solar System

    05/31/18 Seasonal Skies

    06/14/18 Dark Matter

     

  • Show Descriptions

    ASTEROIDS AND COMETS

    Learn more about the giant rocks that share the solar system with the planets. This show includes a history of terrestrial hits that have occurred since the beginning of the solar system plus chances of collisions in the future.

    BLACK HOLES

    What are Black Holes? Where do they come from? What happens when something falls into a Black Hole? Black Holes are one of the most interesting things we can't see in space. This program tells you what and where they are.

    DARK MATTER

    Did you know that only 4 percent of the universe is made up of regular matter (stars, planets and people)? The rest is made up of dark matter (23 percent) and dark energy (thought to be 73 percent). Viewers will learn more about dark matter in this thought-provoking program.

    GALILEO

    Discover the story of Galileo, his science experiments and the telescope.

    HOW TO CHOOSE A TELESCOPE

    This show describes how telescopes work, the different types of telescopes, and how to choose a telescope to fit your budget. If you are planning to purchase a telescope and cannot attend this show, contact the planetarium for information on how to choose a telescope. (amaurer@jjc.edu)

    HUMANS AND ROBOTS IN SPACE

    This program discusses the use of robots versus humans in space exploration.

    LARRY CAT IN SPACE

    The all-time children's favorite is back. The story of a cat who sneaks aboard a rocket for a trip to the moon.

    THE LITTLE STAR THAT COULD

    The animated story of a new star that goes in search of its identity and to find a planet of its own. Accurate descriptions of the different types of stars.

    MARS

    Mars is the future destination for manned space trips. Learn about the red planet and what will be needed to survive a trip to this terrestrial planet.

    ORBITS

    Gravity rules the universe. If an object doesn't move fast enough, the gravity of a larger object will "capture" it. Without orbits, Earth would crash into the sun and the moon would crash into Earth. We even use orbits to keep artificial satellites in space or to travel through space. This show describes how orbits work.

    SEASONAL SKIES

    This program will take you on a trip through the current season's skies.

    SOLAR SYSTEM

    This show is about the sun, planets, plutoids, dwarf planets and other objects that orbit the sun. The show is continually updated to remain current and concludes with a look at the possibility of aliens.

    STORY OF THE CHRISTMAS STAR

    This show covers the history of the winter solstice celebration and why Christmas is celebrated at this time of the year. It also addresses what the Christmas star might have been, what year the birth described in the Bible might have happened, and the story of the three kings. Biblical, historical, and astronomical data was used to prepare this show.

    SUNSTRUCK

    How does the sun generate radiation? How hot is the sun? How is Earth protected from the "aba" radiation from the sun? How long will the sun last? All of these questions are answered in the Sunstruck show.

    TWO SMALL PIECES OF GLASS

    Learn how telescopes work and how they are used.

    WE GO TO THE MOON

    Ever wonder what it would be like to go to the moon? Find out in this show! Students will also get a chance to discuss what they would need for their lunar voyage.