“Season of Light" at Augustana College's John Deere Planetarium -- December 9 through 15.

Saturday, December 9, through Friday, December 15

Augustana College's John Deere Planetarium, 820 38th Street, Rock Island IL

An avidly anticipated holiday tradition returns to Augustana College from December 9 through 15 when the John Deere Planetarium hosts the week-long presentation Season of Light, a fascinating and beautiful holiday presentation hosted by the college's planetarium director and professor of physics and astronomy Dr. Lee Carkner.

Created by Loch Ness Productions, Season of Light is a multimedia show that employs the planetarium sky projector, astronomical images, music, and narration, all projected onto a 30-foot dome to tell the story of how holiday traditions are connected to the sky above. “December is the darkest month of the year," said planetarium director Carkner. "and people all over the world have held festivals, lit candles and tried to bring light to the darkness of the winter sky. Season of Light also explains the seasons, the winter constellations, and speculates about the Star of Bethlehem.”

Visitors to the planetarium may also view the full-color images from the Hubble Space Telescope, and a quarter-ton piece of the Canyon Diablo meteorite will be displayed with interpretive information in the Getz-Rogers Gallery. Adjacent to the planetarium, Augustana’s Fryxell Geology Museum will also be open to visitors on December 9 and 10 from 1 to 4 p.m., as well as from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. on the weeknights of December 11 through 14.

Program presenter Dr. Lee Carkner received his B.S. in Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1992 and completed his PhD in Astrophysics at Penn State University in 1998. His thesis explored the topic of X-ray emission from very young, sun-like stars. Dr. Carkner joined the faculty at Augustana in 1999 and is currently Professor of Physics and Astronomy and director of the John Deere Planetarium, where he gives planetarium shows to thousands of public school students and members of the general public each year.

Season of Light will be presented in the John Deere Planetarium December 9 through 15, with the show taking place Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Admission is free, but reservations are required, and the program is not recommended for children ages seven and under. Doors will open 15 minutes before each presentations, late-comers will not be admitted, and more information is available by calling (309)794-7318 and visiting Augustana.edu.

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