The Staerkel Planetarium will reopen on August 6.

UIUC astronmer Jim Kaler, photo from University of Illinois Archives

On the first Friday of the month at 6:30 pm, the Staerkel Planetarium becomes a forum for a local scientist to discuss his or her specialties. 

All audiences are welcome! Admission is free for our shows on Zoom. Teachers, group leaders, invite your classes! 

The series was named for UIUC astronomer Jim Kaler, who gave his time to speak in our series every year for over 20 years. 

2021-2022 Lecture Series

  • 2021 October 1
    PRECS: Phenotypic Plasticity Research Experience for Community College Students
    Community college students will present their research performed with PRECS.
  • 2021 November 5
    "Rethinking Nuclear Power: Small Systems, Big Potential"
    Caleb Brooks (UIUC, Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering) focuses his work on enabling and expanding safe, peaceful uses of nuclear power.
  • 2021 December 3
    Alison Bell (UIUC, Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior) seeks to understand why individual animals behave differently from each other.
  • 2022 February 4
    "The Lives and Deaths of Galaxies"

    Decker French (UIUC, Astronomy) will discuss how galaxies grow by forming new stars and merging with other galaxies, and what happens when star formation gets shut down.
    Zoom link
  • 2022 March 4
    Nicola Perry (UIUC, Materials Science and Engineering) studies "solid state ionic" materials for energy applications.
    Zoom link
  • 2022 April 1
    “Storing Energy Big Time Using Nano Materials”
    Joaquín Rodríguez-López (UIUC, Chemistry) will tell you about new technologies to store the renewable energy using flow batteries and responsive nanomaterials that take care of the battery.
    Zoom link