Adler Planetarium

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Blogs

Welcome to the Adler's Blogs! Adler Transmissions provides you with the latest news and views from Adler's astronomers, curators, partners, and programming staff. From Earth to distant planets and beyond, This Week in Space discusses the latest discoveries and accomplisments in science, space, and technology.

NASA's Kepler Discovers First Earth-Size Planet In The 'Habitable Zone' of Another Star

Using NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the "habitable zone" -- the range of distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet. 

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Cosmos and the Dialog between Science and Religion

The first episode set the stage for the journey, with a brief tour through our vast Universe in space and time. Of course it is a daunting job to do full justice to both the science and the human history of science, and it is perhaps not surprising that the episode takes a one-sided view in its depiction of the interaction between religion and science, particularly in the sequence depicting Bruno’s tragic clash with the Inquisition. 

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Faraway Moon or Faint Star? Possible Exomoon Found

NASA-funded researchers have spotted the first signs of an "exomoon," and though they say it's impossible to confirm its presence, the finding is a tantalizing first step toward locating others. The discovery was made by watching a chance encounter of objects in our galaxy, which can be witnessed only once.

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Sundial Makers and Techniques

The sundials on display in the new exhibition Saving Time: Collecting and Conserving Sundials highlight exquisite craftsmanship by important sundial makers, such as Paul Reinmann, Johann Martin, and Johann Willebrand. These instrument makers were known for their elegant, well-made dials.

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Mercury has a Long History of Exploding Volcanoes

Considering the fact that Mercury wasn’t supposed to have explosive volcanism in the first place, the findings from a new analysis are surprising, and could have implications for understanding how the planet formed.

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Eclipses this April and throughout History

Eclipses are among the most spectacular and easily viewed astronomical events. Nothing is required but a clear sky, and even the most unobservant person who happens to be out-of-doors when one takes place is likely to notice these dramatic encounters between the two brightest objects in our sky: the Sun and the Moon. 

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NASA Space Assets Detect Ocean inside Saturn Moon

NASA's Cassini spacecraft and Deep Space Network have uncovered evidence that Saturn's moon Enceladus harbors a large underground ocean of liquid water, furthering scientific interest in the Moon as a potential home to extraterrestrial microbes.

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Who Made that Planetarium?

A recent article in the New York Times Magazine asks who made that planetarium, highlighting the 100-year anniversary of a historically important meeting between Oskar von Miller and Carl Zeiss. 

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Night Sky as Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxies Merge

As seen on the Cosmos TV series featured in 2014, the Milky Way galaxy and the nearby Andromeda galaxy will collide and merge 4 billion years from now. Check out this video from the Hubble Space Telescope news center to see the predicted merger between our two titan spiral galaxies, as seen in Earth’s sky.  

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A Chicago Perspective on an Exciting Cosmological Discovery

On Monday March 17, 2014 a major step in our understanding of the earliest phases of the Universe was announced, with the detection by the BICEP2 (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization) Collaboration of the imprint of gravitational waves on matter and space. 

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Almost Snack Time for our Galaxy’s Black Hole

Astronomers have been watching and waiting since 2011 to see what will happen when an encroaching cloud of gas sweeps near the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy.

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Cosmic Inflation: 'Spectacular' Discovery Hailed

Scientists say they have extraordinary new evidence to support a Big Bang Theory for the origin of the Universe.

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Solar Powered Cooking

"It's so hot out, you can fry an egg on the sidewalk!" - says everyone in the summer.

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Be an Asteroid Hunter in NASA's First Asteroid Grand Challenge Contest Series

NASA’s Asteroid Data Hunter contest series will offer $35,000 in awards over the next six months to citizen scientists who develop improved algorithms that can be used to identify asteroids.

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Adler SVL: Experimenting on the Museum Floor

The Adler's Space Visualization Laboratory (SVL) is a unique place, one that I've had the opportunity to observe over the last seven years. During open hours, Adler visitors may come behind the glass wall and see an otherwise normal looking scientist waving his or her hands in front of beautiful galactic imagery, as if trying to communicate with other beings in outer space. 

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NASA's Kepler Mission Announces 715 New Worlds

NASA's Kepler mission announced Wednesday the discovery of 715 new planets. These newly-verified worlds orbit 305 stars, revealing multiple-planet systems much like our own Solar System.

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Bonfyre Partners with Adler for February's Adler After Dark

Bonfyre established a partnership with the Adler Planetarium for its February installment of their “Adler After Dark” event series beginning Thursday, February 20.

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NASA's IRIS Spots Its Largest Solar Flare

On Jan. 28, 2014, NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, witnessed its strongest solar flare since it launched in the summer of 2013. Solar flares are bursts of x-rays and light that stream out into space, but scientists don't yet know the fine details of what sets them off.

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Cosmos Is The Reason I Love Astronomy

“The cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be.” These are the opening words of “The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean,” the first episode of the landmark PBS series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage airing in late September 1980.

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NASA's NuSTAR Untangles Mystery of How Stars Explode

One of the biggest mysteries in astronomy, how stars blow up in supernova explosions, finally is being unraveled with the help of NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR).

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