One of the hottest tickets in town Saturday night wasn’t the latest blockbuster, it was at the John Deere Planetarium at Augustana College in Rock Island. The planetarium held its annual fall open house on November 5 and both planetarium shows ran out of tickets almost immediately.

“We’ve had a lot of people come out,” said Dr. Lee Carkner, director of the planetarium. “We’ve given away 150 tickets to our planetarium shows and we’ve had a lot more folks come in as well, so we’ve had a really good turnout. We’re glad we could share our facilities with so many people in the community.”

Telescopes were set up outside the planetarium to give visitors a look at the moon and Jupiter. Others lined up for a rare chance to climb up to the observatory to look through the main telescope for a clear view of Saturn.

The Fryxell Geology Museum next door was also open for visitors to inspect. People of all ages crowded around exhibits of fossils, minerals and other scientific finds. One standout was the complete 22-foot-long skeleton of Cryolophosaurus, a large crested carnivorous dinosaur discovered in Antarctica by Dr. Richard Hammer, a paleontology professor from Augustana.

“People have been really excited to check out those objects and they look really good right now. The weather’s been cooperating, so we have a little window of opportunity right now with the weather being good, so the astronomy gods smiled upon us tonight.”