Situated along the Vermilion River, Streator proudly promotes itself as a "Quiet Surprise on the Prairie." We invite you to come wander the tree lined streets where you will find the quiet, caring atmosphere of small town America. We are rich in history, architecture and charm, from the noteworthy churches featuring the annual Pipe Dreams organ concerts to the shady paths of the City Park and beautiful Weber House and Garden.
Make memorable moments with family and friends while enjoying activities reminiscent of simpler times such as the July 4th fireworks celebration, Engle Lane community theater, a concert at the beautiful Plumb Pavilion in the city park or vintage cars during the Labor Day Roamer Cruise Night. A small community offering hospitality and good old fashioned fun!
"THE YEAR OF PLUTO"
The Pluto Connection
Clyde William Tombaugh was born in Streator, Ill., on Feb. 4, 1906. He was the oldeest of six children. In grade school, he loved geography and history. One day, while in sixth grade the thought occured to him , "What would the geography on the other planets be like?" Mr. Tombaugh's uncle was somewhat of an amateur astronomer. He had a 3 inch 75 millimeter telescope with a magnifying power of 36 times wider through the telescope than it does to the unaided eye. Unimpressed with store-bought telescopes, Tombaugh constructed his first telescope at the age of 20, grinding the mirrors himself. Over the course of his life, he would build more than 30 telescopes. In 1928, he put together a 23-centimeter reflector out of the crankshaft of a 1910 Buick and parts from a cream separator. Using this telescope, young Clyde made detailed observations of Jupiter and Mars, which he sent to Lowell Observatory in hopes of garnering feedback from professional astronomers. Instead of receiving constructive criticism, Tombaugh was instead offered a position at the observatory. The staff had been searching for an amateur astronomer to operate their new photographic telescope in search of, among other things, the mysterious Planet X. When Tombaugh was hired in 1929, he joined the search for the missing planet. The telescope at the observatory was equipped with a camera that would take two photographs of the sky on different days. A device known as a blink compactor rapidly flipped back and forth between the two photographs. Stars and galaxies essentially remained unmoving in the images, but anything closer could be visually identified by its motion across the sky. Tombaugh spent approximately a week studying each pair of photographs, which contained over 150,000 stars, and sometimes nearly a million. On Feb. 18, 1930, Tombaugh noticed movement across the field of a pair of images taken a month beforehand. After studying the object to confirm it, the staff of Lowell Observatory officially announced the discovery of a ninth planet on March 13. With the discovery came the rights to name the new body, so the staff opened up a worldwide call for suggestions. Eleven-year old Venetia Burney of England suggested the name Pluto, because the dark, distant planet resembled the abode of the Greek god of the underworld.Pluto endured as a planet for more than 70 years. As astronomical instruments became increasingly precise, however, other similar-sized objects were found beyond the orbit of Neptune. In 2006, almost a decade after Tombaugh's death, the International Astronomical Union reclassified Pluto as a dwarf planet.The New Horizons mission carries some of Tombaugh's ashes on board as it travels to Pluto and beyond. Although most famous for the discovery of the most controversial body in the solar system, Tombaugh also found a comet, hundreds of asteroids, and several galactic star clusters over the course of his career.
NASA's New Horizons will flyby Pluto next summer. Its closest approach to Pluto will occur on July 14th, 2015, but encounter operations begin well before that, in mid-January!
July 2015 has been designated as the Month of Pluto. The New Horizons Spacecraft will pass Pluto at its closest point on July 14th. Aboard the ship are the ashes of Streator native, Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered Pluto in 1930. To celebrate this historic mission and honor the “Ninth Planet” and its discoverer, Streator Tourism is planning 9 events throughout the month. Kicking off the month will be the July 4th fireworks set to space themed music. Other events include a parade followed by a concert at the Plumb Pavilion, Pluto Putt Golf Tournament, Pluto Polka Party with entertainment, StarBQ and Home Brew beer tasting, Family Disc golf and evening Cosmic golf, Exhibits and interactive displays and an Observation Night.
Stay Tuned for Events in 2015!
Why Is NASA doing this mission?
Pluto and its large moon Charon are amazing binary planet system in a new region of the solar system called the Kuiper Belt, which is farther out than even Neptune - 3 billion miles away. At the moment the best pictures we have of either from the Hubble Telescope only allow us to see fuzzy blobs of lighter and darker surface material. Humankind is about to get high-resolution pictures and many other kinds of data on Pluto for the first time thanks to New Horizons.
Some good Pluto and New Horizons resources to read are:
- Why is Pluto so interesting? http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/overview/whyGo.php
- More about the spacecraft mission and see a cool new video of Charon orbiting Pluto taken by the spacecraft http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/
- Countdown to Pluto Encounter http://www.seeplutonow.com/
- The current best maps of Pluto http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2010/06/Tumblr Postcards from Pluto by post-doc Amanda -http://plutopostcards.tumblr.com/.
Plumb Pavilion (pictured above) is the latest addition
to the Streator City Park.
Events Calendar has been expanded!
We have partnered with www.streatorcalendar.com to create a comprehensive list of events. Check the site for all of the latest events and times.
Open Now for Reservations
An alternative to hotels - Baldwin House is a fully furnished home located conveniently in Central Streator. The home sleeps up to six people, with two bedrooms, a formal dining room, living room, sunroom, and a fully equipped kitchen . Amenities include cable television, internet service, and in-house laundry. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/streatorsbaldwinhouse, email firstname.lastname@example.org,
or call Proprietress Toni Pettit at 815-510-0658.
An additional lodging choice when visiting is Chef Tom's Guest House.
Tastefully furnished, the home sleeps six comfortably with a fully equipped kitchen, laundry room and driveway parking. It is close to downtown and located in a quiet neighborhood. Contact owner Thomas Falling at 815-257-1025 for availability and rates.
NEW HORIZONS LEGOS?
Would you like to see a New
Horizons lego set? Vote at
10,000 votes will be reviewed quarterly and possibly created! The New Horizons
spacecraft is on its way towards Pluto. Clyde Tombaugh (formerly of Streator)
discovered Pluto. His ashes are on board the spacecraft. How many other
astronomers can claim that?
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