Adler Planetarium


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.

An Extraordinary Object

In the 1860s, the Dearborn Telescope was the largest telescope in the world. Its story begins with the Civil War. In 1860, Frederick A.P. Barnard, president of the University of Mississippi, wanted to build the world’s largest refracting telescope. He ordered an 18-1/2” lens from the Massachusetts firm of Alvan Clark and Sons, one of the first significant American astronomical instrument makers. 


A Finite View of Infinity

In the book An Original Theory or New Hypothesis of the Universe (1750), mathematician and astronomer Thomas Wright, presented an early attempt to understand a large-scale infinite cosmos. Wright based his larger cosmology on religious belief and speculation, but still allowed that telescopic observation revealed our local Universe. 


Turn Down the Lights

According to National Geographic Magazine, Chicago has held the dubious title of most light polluted city in the U.S. since 2008. Light pollution effects us in many obvious and not so obvious ways.  The stars you see over downtown Chicago now number only in the dozens on the clearest nights, compared to the many thousands you see on a clear moonless night in the least light polluted areas of the country.


Capturing Hubble

During its 23-year operational history, the Hubble became the workhorse of the astronomical community and a source of stunning and compelling photos for the rest of us. Meanwhile, hundreds of aspiring young astronomers used this amazing resource in research projects to obtain their Ph.D.'s. 


What 800,000 Science Volunteers and You Can Do!

The folks that visit the Adler are some of the most engaged and interested in science research and discovery, but many have never been given the chance to participate in authentic science research before, until now. By bringing citizen science projects directly to our visitors, we’re able to show just how accessible science truly is. “Science” isn’t some guy in a lab coat, surrounded by beakers of chemicals. Science is dynamic and ever-changing, and the end goals are often unknown.