AstroFan: Understanding Chicagohenge
Header Image: Chicagohenge as seen from West Adams Street. Image Credit: Tim Hara Update: This blog is revised each year with updated dates of Chicagohenge and the equinoxes. Greetings fellow Chicagoans! It is almost that time of year when nature and architecture harmoniously come together to create the phenomenon known as Chicagohenge. For those who […]
AstroFan: Tale of the Drinking Gourd
Arguably, one of the most well-known fixtures of our night sky is the Big Dipper. But did you know that this night-sky staple once served as a beacon to freedom here in America during the time of the Underground Railroad? In the early-to-mid 19th century, countless American slaves used the Big Dipper—aka the Drinking Gourd—as […]
AstroFan: Galaxy Types!
Header Caption: This Hubble Deep Field image shows a snapshot of the diverse types of galaxies in our universe. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/STScI Hubble Deep Field Team Did you know that up until the last century, humans believed that our Milky Way was the only galaxy in the known universe? Today, we now know that this […]
Adler Skywatch: January 2020
Happy New Year! Though you likely won’t be able to tell the difference, Earth is at its closest to the Sun for the year this month, January 2020. Perihelion, the point in Earth’s annual orbit where it’s closest to the Sun, occurs each year in early January. This year, perihelion occurs at 1:48 a.m. Chicago time on […]
10 Astronomical Discoveries and Historic Space Events to Close Out the Decade
Header Image: Total solar eclipse that occurred on August 21, 2017. Image Credit: NASA Out with the old and in with the new decade! As 2019 comes to a close, we’re reflecting on monumental astronomical discoveries and historic space events that happened over the last 10 years. We asked our stellar staff members to tell […]
AstroFan: The Interstellar Medium and Nebulae
Image Caption: An example of nebulae (and the interstellar medium) can be found in this picture of the Pleiades, an open cluster consisting of approximately 3,000 stars at a distance of 400 light-years (120 parsecs) from Earth in the constellation of Taurus. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, AURA/Caltech, Palomar Observatory Even the most novice of stargazers are […]
Does The Multiverse Exist?
Header Image: Guests dressed up in costume at Adler After Dark: Go Boldy in 2016. If you’re even a little bit into sci-fi, then there’s a good chance you’ve watched, read, or consumed SOMETHING that references multiverses. In fact, multiverse theory has gained popularity as of late. From Marvel comics to Doctor Who to Rick and […]
Exoplanets: Sci-Fi vs. Fact
Header Image: An artist’s illustration of Kepler-452b. Image Credit: NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle Editor’s Note: Updated in May 2023. I was an undergraduate physics major at Cornell University, with my eye on a career in astronomy, when I saw the original Star Wars movie following its release in 1977. A rather famous astronomer and science popularizer […]
AstroFan: A Feast Fit For A Black Hole
Header Image: An artist’s illustration of a thick ring of dust near the supermassive black hole of an active galactic nuclei. Image Credit: NASA / SOFIA / Lynette Cook Ah yes, it is the day after Thanksgiving, and I bet you’re currently dealing with the inevitable ‘post-feast malaise’. What if I told you that at this […]
Understanding Planet Transits
Planet transits are unique celestial events that allow us to measure the geometry of our own Solar System and beyond! Catch the next transit of Mercury at the Adler Planetarium this November!
Your all-access pass to our universe!