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Category: Public Observing

Pictures In The Sky

Tuesday June 16th
Pedro Raposo

Header Image: This celestial globe from the Adler Planetarium’s collection shows the 88 constellations and their corresponding boundaries—which are the light blue lines on the surface of this globe—defined by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).  On January 10, 2016, I was among the millions of music fans who staggered at the news that David Bowie […]

Adler Skywatch: June 2020

Monday June 1st
Karen Donnelly

This year’s summer solstice occurs on the 20th, at 4:44 p.m. Central Daylight Time. On that date the Sun rises just before 5:15 a.m. and doesn’t set until shortly after 8:30 p.m. Between those times, the Sun gets very high in the sky. Keep in mind this takes place in the Northern Hemisphere; those in […]

Adler Skywatch: May 2020

Friday May 1st
Karen Donnelly

What’s better than the near approach of a comet? How about the near approach of two comets? That’s what we’re expecting during the month of May, 2020! Comet C/2019 Y4, also known as Comet ATLAS, was discovered late last December. It will come closest to Earth on May 23rd, at a distance of about 72 […]

The Waxing Gibbous Moon.

Adler Skywatch: April 2020

Wednesday April 1st
Karen Donnelly

Happy April, stargazers! The closest supermoon of the year takes place this month, April 2020. Supermoon is a nickname that describes a Full Moon that occurs within 10% of its closest approach to Earth. Astronomers refer to supermoons as a perigean Full Moon. The April 7th Full Moon is just under 222,000 miles from Earth. […]

In March, we gain 3 minutes of daylight every day

Adler Skywatch: March 2020

Sunday March 1st
Karen Donnelly

The three naked-eye-visible planets outside Earth’s orbit will appear less than 20 degrees apart in the sky this month, March 2020. The planets Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn can be seen low in the southeast just as morning-twilight begins to lighten the sky. Jupiter is the brightest of the three, and it serves as a guidepost […]

Moon rising over the Adler Planetarium

5 Things to Know About Supermoons

Friday February 28th
Megan Lothamer

Header Image: Moon rising above the Adler Planetarium. Image Credit: Chris Smith In 2021, two supermoons will occur! But what is a supermoon exactly? And why is it so “super”? What Is a Supermoon? Supermoon is a nickname that describes a Full Moon that occurs within 10% of its closest approach (300,000 km) to Earth. […]

Adler Skywatch February 2020

Adler Skywatch: February 2020

Saturday February 1st
Karen Donnelly

This month will be a little longer than usual, but still shorter than most months of the calendar — because it’s February 2020. This year is a Leap Year, when the short month of February has 29 days instead of the usual 28. Earth’s actual orbit around the Sun takes about one-quarter of a day […]

Adler telescope volunteer helps man and his child find stars and planets in the night sky through a telescope.

How To Identify Planets in the Night Sky

Monday January 13th
Megan Lothamer

Have you ever looked up at the night sky and wondered if a particularly bright star was actually a planet? It can be tricky business, but with some helpful tools to equip you, you’ll be identifying planets in no time! Follow this guide to figure out if what you’re looking at is a planet or […]

Winter Solstice

Adler Skywatch: December 2019

Sunday December 1st
Karen Donnelly

Header Image: Graphic representation of the Winter Solstice which will occur on December 21st, 2019 at 10:19pm. The brightest planet, Venus, begins a run of many weeks’ worth of spectacular viewing in the evening skies this month, December 2019. Venus starts off the month very low in the southwest after sunset, setting only about 90 […]

Graphic representation of the Leonid meteor shower with the constellation Leo.

Adler Skywatch: November 2019

Friday November 1st
Karen Donnelly

Header Image: Graphic representation of the Leonid meteor shower with the constellation Leo. Evenings in the Chicago area are getting dark quite early this month, November 2019. Because Daylight Saving Time ended on the 3rd, the Sun now sets before 5:00 p.m. local time. It won’t be setting after 5:00 p.m. until late January. Shortly […]

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