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Category: Astronomy 101

Happy Valentine’s Day “With Love, from the Man on the Moon”

Thursday February 14th
Adler Planetarium Staff

Author: Carlyn Hill (Former Content Strategist)   The greatest love story on Earth didn’t take place on Earth at all—it happened 238,900 away from Earth on our celestial neighbor! In honor of Valentine’s Day, read about the grand romantic gesture Captain James A. Lovell Jr. made while orbiting the Moon on Apollo 8. “You want […]

Man observes the night sky through a telescope in a back yard.

Adler Skywatch: February 2019

Saturday February 2nd
Karen Donnelly

The closest “Supermoon,” of the year and glimpses of all the naked-eye-visible planets can be expected during February 2019. About an hour after sunset, the planet Mars is about halfway up in the sky, between the zenith and the southwest horizon. It’s not as bright as some of the wintertime evening stars to its east, […]

Moon rising over the Adler Planetarium

Once in a Blue Moon

Thursday January 10th
Mark Hammergren

Cover Photo Credit: Chris Smith For decades NASA’s plans for human space exploration have focused on Mars as the preeminent target. However, in December 2017, the Trump administration issued a national policy directive through its freshly reconstituted Space Council calling for a return to the Moon—not just with Apollo-style landings, but “for long-term exploration and […]

Catch a total lunar eclipse in Chicago this January!

Adler Skywatch: January 2019

Friday January 4th
Karen Donnelly

Bright stars and planets, meteors, an eclipse, a “Supermoon,” and a close approach by the Sun are all expected during January 2019. In evening twilight this month, the planet Mars is high in the southern skies. The night of the 12th, it appears near a waxing crescent Moon. Each evening Mars appears higher in the […]

Earthrise- photo taken by Bill Anders on December 24, 1968

Sailing to the Moon and Back

Friday December 21st
Andrew Johnston

This December, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission to the Moon, one of the most amazing journeys of exploration in human history. This was the first time humans ever ventured away from Earth’s immediate vicinity, and the first time anyone saw both sides of the Moon with their own eyes. On […]

Patchwork Sun photo credit- NASA

The Secret Life of the Sun

Tuesday December 18th
Maria Weber

[Header Image: This collage of solar images from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) shows how observations of the sun in different wavelengths of light helps highlight different aspects of the sun’s surface and atmosphere. Credit: NASA/SDO/Goddard Space Flight Center.] The Sun looks pretty boring, right? It’s just a glowing ball in the sky that doesn’t […]

Comet Hyakutake, photo by Michelle Nichols, 26 March 1996, using a Pentax K1000 camera, f2.0, 20 second exposure, taken from the town of West Chicago, IL.

A Holiday Comet?

Wednesday December 12th
Michelle Nichols

Have you ever seen a comet in the night sky? I suspect most of the people reading this haven’t. It’s not that there aren’t a lot of comets in the Solar System—more than 5,000 have been discovered so far and several dozen can be spotted using very large telescopes each year—but because most comets are […]

"We Choose to go to the Moon" - John F. Kennedy

Navigating to the Moon and Back: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 8

Tuesday December 11th
Megan Lothamer

It’s strange to imagine, but humans left the vicinity of the Earth for the first time just 50 years ago this month. The Apollo 8 flight was an incredible feat of exploration that required astronauts to navigate using sextants and radio signals. Highlights from this 6-day mission include the successful (and difficult) placement of the […]

Artefacts Conference 2018

“Relevance of Collections”—the Artefacts meeting comes to Chicago

Thursday December 6th
Pedro Raposo

For more than two decades now, the Artefacts consortium has been promoting an annual meeting that brings together museum professionals and scholars working with scientific and technological collections. This year’s meeting, the 23rd in the series, was hosted by the Adler Planetarium, under the theme “Relevance of Collections.” During the three days of Artefacts XXIII […]

December 2018 Skywatch | Here's what's happening in our night sky!

Adler Skywatch: December 2018

Saturday December 1st
Karen Donnelly

Do the days seem to be getting a little darker this month? It’s not your imagination. You can see the change for yourself, along with some of the night’s brightest stars and planets, during the month of December 2018! This month the Sun rises around 7:00 am CT, and sets before 4:30 pm. That means […]

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