Whether you’re fascinated by the night sky or love a good story, you’ll want to visit the John Deere Planetarium at Augustana College to catch its annual holiday program, “Season of Light,” December 10-16. The holiday planetarium shows will be held on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. and weekdays at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but reservations are required. The program is not recommended for children ages seven and under. The planetarium is located at 820 38th Street in Rock Island. Reservations can be made here. Doors open 15 minutes before each program and late comers will not be admitted.

Photo courtesy Augustana College

“Season of Light” was created by Loch Ness Productions and uses images, video, animation and sound to tell the story of how holiday traditions are connected to the sky above. “December is the darkest month of the year, and people all over the world have held festivals, lit candles and tried to bring light to the darkness of the winter sky,” said planetarium director Dr. Lee Carkner, who will lead the planetarium show. “’Season of Light’ also explains the seasons and the winter constellations and speculates about the Star of Bethlehem.”

Visitors can also see the items on display in the recently updated Getz-Rogers Gallery, including astronomy images, artifacts from the Apollo program and a quarter-ton piece of the Canyon Diablo meteorite. Augustana’s Fryxell Geology Museum will be open to visitors from 1-4 p.m. December 10-11 and from 7:30-8:30 p.m. during the week of December 12-16. A complete 22-foot-long skeleton of Cryolophosaurus, a large crested carnivorous dinosaur discovered in Antarctica in 1991 by Augustana paleontologist Dr. William Hammer is one of the highlights on display in the museum.