Explore the wonders of the universe and the latest discoveries in astronomy, space exploration, and Earth science at the Cernan Earth and Space Center, a unique space-age facility that combines education and entertainment for people of all ages. Open all year, the Cernan Center is conveniently located at Triton College in Chicago's western suburb of River Grove. The Cernan Center houses a 100-seat dome theater that features star-filled planetarium shows, wraparound films, children's shows and laser light shows, along with a Space Hall and Star Store gift shop.
The Cernan Earth and Space Center's office hours are Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.; Saturdays from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.; and Sundays from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC: The Cernan Center's primary offering is its schedule of dome theater programs on Friday nights, Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons. The lobby and Star Store gift shop are also open during those times. For our public show schedule, click here.
STAR STORE HOURS: The Cernan Earth and Space Center's Star Store gift shop hours are Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.; Saturdays from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.; and Sundays from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
FOR SCHOOL AND GROUP LEADERS: The Cernan Center's primary offering is a collection of programs that can be reserved on weekday mornings or afternoons. The lobby and Star Star Store gift shop are also open during those times. For information about making a group reservation, click here.
FOR EVERYONE: The Cernan Center is not open Monday through Thursday evenings, Saturday mornings or afternoons, or Sunday evenings.
For a local map and directions to Triton College, click here. For a campus map showing the Cernan Center's location on campus, click here.
THE CERNAN EARTH AND SPACE CENTER ONLINE
The Cernan Center is a public planetarium on the campus of Triton College in the Chicago suburb of River Grove. Its Web site, the Cernan Earth and Space Center Online, provides information for anyone planning to visit our planetarium. This includes a list of current shows, a description of all shows and exhibits, membership information and much more. In addition to Chicago-area residents, the Cernan Earth and Space Center Online also serves people throughout the country and around the world. Online visitors can find links to other earth- and space-related websites, shop for unique gifts in our Star Store Online, obtain biographical information about Apollo astronaut Eugene Cernan (the last man on the moon), and more.
THE DOME THEATER
The Cernan Earth and Space Center's 44-foot diameter dome theater is equipped with a planetarium star projector, a special C-360 motion picture projector, a sophisticated laser projection system, a large format video projection system, a powerful stereo sound system and scores of slide and special effects projectors. For a more detailed description of the Cernan Center theater and its equipment, please click on Cernan Center Technical Specifications. Using this equipment, the Cernan Center presents a range of programs, including: 1) Earth and sky shows (including C-360 wraparound films), 2) children's shows and 3) laser light shows that choreograph laser images and special visual effects to music. These programs are both educational and entertaining, and discuss such subjects as the current night sky, the planets of our solar system, the weather and climate of Earth, the space shuttle and the age of dinosaurs.
CERNAN CENTER PATRONS
The Cernan Earth and Space Center presents programs to a variety of people in the Chicago area, including: 1) the general public, who attend regularly scheduled public programs; 2) school, scout and senior citizen groups who reserve time during weekdays to see the program of their choice; and 3) Triton College classes (particularly those in astronomy and geography).
For the general public, the Cernan Center offers regularly scheduled Earth and sky shows, children's shows and laser light shows. A new public program premieres approximately seven times a year. In addition to the regular programs, the Cernan Center also has a series of Monthly Skywatch programs that keep people abreast of the rapid changes in astronomy and space science while providing an opportunity to observe the moon and planets through telescopes set up on the lawn outside the building. Periodically, the Cernan Center also hosts special events, lectures and workshops that complement programs presented in the dome theater.
For school groups of elementary and high school aged students, the Cernan Center provides an important extension to subjects already presented in the classroom. Teachers can schedule their classes to see their choice of program(s) at the time and date most convenient for them.
For Triton College instructors, the Cernan Center's variety of programs provide unique educational opportunities for many subjects and disciplines. Astronomy instructors use the dome theater to present special lectures in astronomy or to see any of our regular selection of planetarium programs. Geography instructors use the dome theater to give lessons in navigation that are easier to visualize than in the classroom. Programs also are regularly presented to English as a Second Language (ESL) classes that use the planetarium programs to improve basic language skills.
For current show information, please go to Current Show Schedule or call the Cernan Center Program Line at (708) 583-3100.
The Cernan Earth and Space Center staff:
Vacant -- Director
Kevin Cole -- Monthly Skywatch Presenter/Show Operator
Darren Drake -- Monthly Skywatch Presenter/Show Operator
Dan Joyce-- Monthly Skywatch Presenter
Dean Mikolajczyk -- Monthly Skywatch presenter
Debbie Miller -- Office Assistant
Karen Pieranunzi -- Gift Shop Manager / Membership Coordinator
Joe Schultz -- Technical and Production Assistant
The Cernan Earth and Space Center offers a range of programs and offerings. For more information, please call the Cernan Earth and Space Center at (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3372, or e-mail the Cernan Center at email@example.com. For information related to the Cernan Center's Star Store gift shop, e-mail the Gift Shop Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.