Astronomy at ONU

The Astronomy program at Olivet includes courses, programs at Strickler Planetarium, and the Reed Hall observatory.


We offer several courses in astronomy for general education, Teacher certification, and those interested in pursuing astronomy as a career. Each of these courses uses the campus planetarium and observatory for completion of some coursework. The Tools of Astronomy course focuses on training students to operate the planetarium and instruction on the use of the observatory and telescopes.

Strickler Planetarium

Our planetarium is dedicated to educating the public about the wonders of space. The facility contains a 30' diameter dome onto which over 4800 stars are projected to give the audience the 3D experience of being outside under the stars or travelling in deep space. Only 3 planetariums in Illinois are larger and few have the capabilities of Strickler Planetarium. For more information on the planetarium, see the Strickler Planetarium website.


The Reed Hall of Science observatory contains a 12" Newtonian Criterion reflector, along with a fleet of telescopes that range from 3.5" Cassegrain Questars to an 8" Cassegrain Celestron. Over the past few summers, students have conducted observing programs and minor research using the various equipment. Student-users come from the physical sciences and science education degree programs. After completing the astronomy course work, and observatory training, students are free to use the observatory equipment for their preferred observing programs or research. Due to difficult access, the observatory is not open to the public. However, private tours can be arranged with the Planetarium and Observatory director.

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For more information on Astronomy education at ONU, contact Prof. Steve Case.