Heitkamp Planetarium 2019-2020 Schedule

Due to COVID-19, Planetarium events are suspended until further notice.


“A Star is Born”

There is much more to the lives of stars than just those dots of light we see in the night sky.  Those tiny dots are actually giant condensed balls of gas, but how did they get started?   Join us as we learn about the birth of a star and their effects on their surroundings.  (Presenters: Zach Ney and Keighley Lipetzky)

“Journey to Space”

With just over 50 years since the first human venture into space, we take a look back at past journeys into space and future space-travel.  Loras College alum Jeff Heitzman (Systems Engineer for Commercial Human Spaceflight) returns to campus to lead us through this fascinating journey.  (Organizers: Zac Couture and Emily Lemire)

“Intergalactic Measuring Stick”

As we look into the night sky we see a collection of dots that we know are actually giant balls of flaming gas called stars. But just how “Giant” are they. Join us as we replicate an experiment and discover how far away and big our sun really is.  (Presenters: Zac Couture and Hannah Insko)

“Diversity in the Sky”

Throughout history, various cultures have envisioned importance to the stars and constellations.  Mythological stories tell us much about ancient cultures as well as the early beliefs about the structure of the cosmos.  This show will connect the different constellations in our night sky with the cultures whose mythologies have been passed down for thousands of years.  (Presenters: Keighley Lipetzky and Zach Ney)

“The Christmas Star”

The Heitkamp Planetarium will look back in the astronomical record to examine possible celestial events that could have produced an object in the sky that might have signified ‘The Star of Bethlehem’.  (Presenters: Audrey Miller and Tyler Havens)

“The Dancing Lights”

The Northern Lights are technically known as the Aurora Borealis, named by Galileo for the Greek goddess of northern wind and the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora.  This magnificent phenomenon can be observed in the night sky by people in the northern latitude regions, where the light appears to dance melodiously in the sky.  This program will explore the causes and effects of the beautiful lights and their significance to various cultures thought out history   (Presenters: Tyler Havens and Zach Ney)

“Making Waves in the Universe”

Gravitational waves are ripples in space-time that result from powerful events in the universe. Einstein predicted their existence in 1916, and astronomers began the search for evidence – finally detecting waves in 2015. Join us as we learn about how gravitational waves were discovered, the events that cause them, and what they can tell us about the universe.         (Presenters: Tyler Frost and Audrey Miller)

“UFO – no longer unidentified”

Since the early 19th century, sightings of strange objects have been reported by people around the world.  Are there extra-terrestrial beings visiting us or is it just a paranormal belief that people like to pursue?  If beings have visited Earth, then the incredible distances traversed would imply incredible speeds.  The Heitkamp Planetarium will address the multitude of issues surrounding UFOs.          (Presenters: Hannah Insko and Kelly Langreck)

“The Ozone Layer is Back”

Everyone has heard about the holes in the ozone layer, but what exactly is this ozone layer and why does it have such a big impact on our planet. This show will be taking a closer look into what exactly is the ozone layer and how it protects the earth. The show will also be looking at what is weakening the ozone layer and the impacts that go along with the decrease in the ozone layers effectiveness.               (Presenters: Kelly Langreck and Tyler Frost)


All of the above public shows begin at 7:00 pm on the date indicated.  Heitkamp Planetarium is pleased to schedule age-appropriate shows for school groups and scout organizations: contact Ms. Kris Dolan at kristen.dolan@loras.edu or 563.588.7145 (or 588.7182) for information and scheduling.

Questions? Let’s get in touch.

We are pleased to schedule age-appropriate shows for school groups and organizations.
Contact us for more information. 

Kristen Dolan