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Category: Astronomy

Credit: NASA This is probably the first Moon rock picked up by Neil Armstrong as part of the “contingency sample.” Because the collection was so hurried and the documentation sparse, NASA scientists are not completely sure of the identification.

All Over Earth, Collecting Rocks from Space

Saturday July 13th
Mark Hammergren

Header Image: This is probably the first Moon rock picked up by Neil Armstrong as part of the “contingency sample.” Because the collection was so hurried and the documentation sparse, NASA scientists are not completely sure of the identification. Credit: NASA The Apollo missions sent humans to the Moon 50 years ago. Getting there required […]

Michelle Nichols helping young skywatchers observe the sky at a 'Scopes in the City event.

Building Community Under the Stars

Friday July 5th
Michelle Nichols

In September 2016, we—the Adler’s ’Scopes in the City team—brought a telescope to the Wrightwood-Ashburn library branch on Chicago’s southwest side and set it up in front of the library. This branch has a beautifully clear view of the sky with no tall buildings in the way. A teen involved in other library programs came […]

Tunguska: Unraveling the Mystery

Saturday June 29th
Megan Lothamer

Setting: Tuesday, June 30, 1908, around 7:15 am. A remote forest near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in Siberia. A large fireball streaks through the sky followed by an intense wave of heat felt up to 40 miles away. A loud explosion. The ground shakes. Silence. If the playwrights of today were to write a theatrical […]

The Big Dipper in the Night Sky

Discover: The Big Dipper

Wednesday June 26th
Megan Lothamer

It’s night and you’re looking up into the night sky. What’s the first constellation you see? If you thought to yourself “the Big Dipper,” you’re not alone! In Western culture, it’s often one of the first things we learn to recognize in the night sky as children. For many people in the United States, this […]

An artist's illustration of a brown dwarf. Image Credit: NASA

AstroFan: It’s a star! It’s a planet! No—it’s a brown dwarf?!

Monday June 24th
Bianca Anderson

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech Our Universe is filled with strange objects that even scientists have trouble classifying. Read on to learn about brown dwarfs, the celestial objects that are kind of like a star and kind of like a planet but are actually neither. A wise man once said, “Only a Sith deals in absolutes”. That […]

Milky Way in the sky and reflected in a lake with silhouetted trees between the sky and the lake taken at Middle Fork River Forest Preserve Image Credit: Nick Lake

Adler Sky Observing 101: What To See

Tuesday June 18th
Michelle Nichols

From moon phases to meteor showers, the Adler Planetarium has got you covered when it comes to knowing what to look for in the sky. Read our list below to get started! At all times, half of our Moon is lit by the Sun, just as half of the Earth is always lit by the […]

A green tent on sand with silhouetted trees and a blue night sky with stars

Adler Sky Observing 101: Where to Go

Tuesday June 18th
Michelle Nichols

606 TRAIL The western entrance of the 606 Trail at 1801 N. Ridgeway, Chicago, IL is relatively clear of buildings, though not necessarily clear of light pollution. The 606 Trail is open until 11:00 pm daily. FOREST PRESERVE DISTRICT OF COOK COUNTY’S PALOS PRESERVES Did you know the largest Urban Night Sky Place in the […]

Looking Up and Reaching Out

Friday June 14th
Aubrey Henretty

“One of the things I’m passionate about is bridging the culture wars,” Adler Astronomer Dr. Grace Wolf-Chase says cheerfully. In her office, Grace is rifling through a stack of bright pink foam-board posters featuring portraits of religious people who’ve made great contributions to science. She separates one from the rest. The bearded face on it […]

How Many People Does it Take to Discover a Planet?

Tuesday June 11th
Pedro Raposo

The evening of March 13, 1781, William Herschel was observing the sky with a fine 7-foot refracting telescope he’d made by himself, from the backyard of his home in Bath, England. At that time, Herschel was earning his bread as a musician, but he had been developing a strong interest in astronomy, sacrificing many of […]

Man looking through a pair of telescopes into Chicago's night sky.

Adler Skywatch: June 2019

Saturday June 1st
Karen Donnelly

The longest days and shortest nights of the year—for Earth’s Northern Hemisphere, anyway—take place this month, June 2019. The first day of summer for the Northern Hemisphere occurs on the solstice, at 10:54 am CDT on the 21st. It’s the longest day of the year, with the Sun rising very early and setting very late. […]


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