It will be a "Dark November" at Staerkel Planetarium with three events that dig into the topic of dark matter. 

Kaler Science Talk, November 2nd, 7 p.m.

University of Illinois astronomer Jeff Filippini will give a talk titled "The Dark Universe" as part of the James B. Kaler Science Lecture Series. Admission is $2 at the door, with free admission for Friends of the Staerkel Planetarium.

Galaxies and galaxy clusters are held together by the gravitational pull of invisible clouds of Dark Matter, while a mysterious force called "Dark Energy" drives the Universe to expand ever faster. Dr. Filippini will take the audience on a tour of this invisible universe, from the evidence for its presence to the ongoing search to understand its nature.


Premiere of "Phantom of the Universe: The Hunt for Dark Matter", November 2nd, 8 p.m

The show will run Friday and Saturday nights until the Thanksgiving weekend. Tickets are $6 for adults, $5 for students, seniors and children under 12, with free admission for Friends of the Staerkel Planetarium.

From the journey of protons racing through the world's largest particle collider in Europe to up-close views of the Big Bang and emergent universe and the nearly mile-deep descent to an underground experiment in South Dakota, this planetarium show is designed to immerse audiences in the search for this elusive material. The hunt is on! Narrated by Tilda Swinton.


CUAS Talk, November 8th, 7 p.m.

UIUC scientist Dr. Lauren Pearce will give a talk entitled "Dark Matter: Why Do We Think It's Out There?"  Her talk, part of the monthly Champaign-Urbana Astronomical Society meeting at the Staerkel Planetarium, is free of charge.

For centuries, astronomers have used their telescopes to study the wonders of the universe: planets, stars, galaxies, etc. In the last century, however, astronomers have started studying something they can’t see in their telescopes: Dark Matter. Pearce will examine the lines of evidence that have convinced astronomers Dark Matter is in fact out there. Audience members will even discover a little about its properties and, time permitting, will discuss some ideas about what it could be.