On the first Friday of the month at 7 pm, the Staerkel Planetarium becomes a forum for a local scientist to discuss his or her specialties.
All audiences are welcome! Admission is only $2 at the door. 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.
- October 4, 2019
“Nature & Nurture:
Examining How Diverse Organisms Adapt to Changes in their Everyday Environment”
students who participated in PRECS, an NSF-funded research experience for
community college students, will present their research projects conducted in
systems such as plants, mammals, and worms.
- November 1, 2019
“Small Satellites: Dawn of a New Era”
design has now come full circle from the basketball-sized Sputnik to school
bus-sized geosynchronous spacecraft, and now back to bread box-sized
“CubeSats.” Dr. Michael Lembeck (UIUC Aerospace Engineering) will examine how
the size and capabilities of satellites delivering services from space has
changed over time.
- December 6, 2019
“Soils and Human Security”
The soil beneath our feet is often taken for
granted, but the well-being of our soils affects us from food production to
Dr. Andrew Margenot (UIUC,
Crop Sciences) will elaborate.
- February 7, 2020
“Supermassive Black Holes”
What are these massive warps in the fabric of space
and how do we know they are there?
the scoop from Dr. Xin Liu (UIUC Astronomy).
- March 6, 2020
“Chasing Tornadoes: It’s not what you think!”
and tornado chaser Andrew Pritchard is back to look at tornado climatology in
Illinois and what is it like to chase storms.
He’ll also look at current research and tips on how to protect yourself
from these severe storms.
- April 3, 2020
“Birds of East Central Illinois: Natural Beauty
You Probably Didn't Notice”
Enjoy stunning photography from Jeffrey Bryant
(Wolfram Alpha, LLC) and hear about some of the winged friends we have flying
over Central Illinois.
Some may surprise