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Following the sun in 2017: Olivet and the solar eclipse

Posted: Jun 08, 2017


Strickler Planetarium is located near the center of Olivet Nazarene University’s main campus in Bourbonnais, Illinois.


The newest show at Olivet's Strickler Planetarium presents more information about eclipses: causes, safety, history and science.


For 50 years, Olivet's state-of-the-art digital planetarium has been educating the public about the natural world.

A coast-to-coast, historical event that hasn’t happened since 1918 is piquing the interest of astronomers, photographers and scientists. Dr. Steve Case, professor and director of Strickler Planetarium at Olivet Nazarene University, is no exception. He is already promoting this August 21st event — the first total solar eclipse to pass across the entire continental United States in 99 years — in big ways.

“Eclipse: The Sun Revealed” is the newest show at Strickler Planetarium on Olivet’s campus. Each Saturday from June 3 through August 19 at 6 and 7:30 p.m., viewers have the opportunity to learn more about eclipses: causes, safety, history and science. Tickets are $3 per person and available at the door. For more information, go to, call 815-939-5395 or email

Celebrating 50 years of immersing audiences in a three-dimensional visualization of the night sky, the solar system, the galaxy and beyond, Strickler Planetarium is located near the center of Olivet’s main campus in Bourbonnais, Illinois. This state-of-the-art digital planetarium is dedicated to educating the public about the natural world. Constructed in 1967, the recently renovated venue features the Evans and Sutherland Digistar 3 SP2 HD digital projector and a sound system by Bowen Technovations. Strickler is one of only a few Illinois planetariums with digital projection capabilities.

When the solar eclipse occurs on August 21, in Kankakee, Illinois, the sun will be 90 percent eclipsed. The path of totality actually passes through southern Illinois. Olivet is sponsoring an eclipse viewing event at Murphysboro Church of the Nazarene, Murphysboro, Illinois. The sun will be totally blocked at 1:20 p.m. there.

“Seeing this new planetarium show at Olivet is the best way to prepare for the actual event,” Dr. Case says. “The solar eclipse is the astronomical event of a lifetime.”

For more information about Olivet’s Department of Chemistry and Geosciences, contact the Office of Admissions at or 800-648-1463.

Acres that comprise Olivet's beautiful, park-like campus in Bourbonnais, Illinois