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.

An Update on Space Warps

About two weeks ago the Zooniverse launched its latest citizen science project–Space Warps. Built by the citizen science team here at the Adler in collaboration with scientists at the Universities of Oxford and Tokyo, Space Warps invites members of the public to hunt for some of the rarest objects in the Universe - gravitational lenses. 

 

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The Beginning, End, and Future of the Kepler Mission

The night of the Kepler launch, I stood out in the spectator area feeling like I could almost see the gears of my life turning.

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The Building Blocks Behind Cosmic Wonder

Today, light pollution has sapped much of the richness of the sky (certainly in Chicagoland), and instruments like the Hubble Space Telescope have revealed incredible vistas across the Universe only deepening our sense of wonder.

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Experience the Adler – As a Member!

As the Manager of Membership and Annual Fund, I love being able to connect with Adler members. Whether they are calling to renew their membership or attending a member event, it is always fun to speak with individuals from this diverse community of Adler’s most dedicated supporters.

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Finding Inspiration in Astronomy, Art, and Architecture

Fantastic discoveries — past and present — can alter our conception of the Universe and how we view our place in it. In the 1920s, Edwin Hubble used the Period-Luminosity Relation, photographs, and the most powerful telescope in the world to demonstrate the existence of other galaxies, an idea that had been debated for centuries

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Celebrating Women in Space Science

The Women in Space Science (WISS) Award Celebration is a special event held annually and is hosted by the Adler Planetarium Women’s Board. We are in our eleventh year, and I am so proud to be involved with this program.

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From Adler's Collections: A 400 Year-Old Celestial Globe

This four-inch-diameter brass celestial globe originated from Italy or Germany, probably in the 1600s, although it is neither signed nor dated. As a celestial globe, it shows stars and constellation figures arranged around the celestial sphere, rather than continents arranged around the terrestrial sphere — as would appear on a terrestrial globe.

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Celebrate Yuri's Night

Along with millions of people, The Adler celebrates Yuri’s night on April 12, 2013 to remember and celebrate the signature events of space exploration history.  On that date in 1961, Gagarin soared into space, also becoming the first human to orbit the earth. 

 

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Spaced Out

Have you ever met a kindergartner who can recite a monologue about the lifecycle of a red giant star? Maybe you personally know 130 elementary school rocket scientists. If this sounds familiar, you might be an outreach educator for the Adler Planetarium.

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A Place to Hang Out with Other Space Nerds

Conferences are typically a whirlwind of faces and information sessions. This year's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) in The Woodlands, Texas was no different–a gathering of some 2,000 planetary scientists/space enthusiasts to discuss current research and geek out about everything planetary.

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My Home Away from Home

The Adler Planetarium and the Air Force Academy High School are two places that I consider “my homes away from home.” I am grateful of my school’s partnership with the Adler because I have access to so many opportunities like sending high-altitude balloons to the edge of space, engaging with museum visitors, and, now, writing for an astro-journalism blog.

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Marking Time in the Modern World

The sky is filled with a clockwork of motions that ticks off the seconds, days, and aeons as precisely and regularly as the finest timepiece humans have ever made. The motions in the sky are a combination of the Earth’s orbital motion around the Sun, the spin of the Earth on its axis, and the fact that the North Pole of the Earth is not pointing straight up from its orbit.

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Getting Kids Excited About Science!

Hard to believe Spring Break 2013 is already upon us! As we say goodbye to winter and welcome spring, I challenge you to encourage and promote your child’s interest in science at home and in the community.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.
 

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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. 

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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. 

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