Sky Observers Hangout

When you look up, what do you see?

In this virtual series, our Director of Public Observing Michelle Nichols and Astronomy Educator Hunter Miller talk about what it means to observe something in the sky—and shows viewers how to do it themselves!

Participants will learn how to use everyday objects to observe the Sun, the Moon, and other celestial objects; try their hand at skills such as nighttime sky photography; see whatever is visible in the sky over their neighborhoods; and find out how to use what they’ve learned to view upcoming cosmic happenings.

No tickets or reservations are required to attend Sky Observers Hangout—it’s free and open to everyone! All you need is an internet connection and access to YouTube!

Upcoming Episodes

Sky Observers Hangout: The Venus-Jupiter Conjunction of 2023
March 1 at 9:00 pm CST
This event is weather dependent

Check this space or sign up for our email list to learn when new episodes are scheduled. Catch up on previous episodes by watching our Sky Observers Hangout playlist!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need anything special to watch Sky Observers Hangout online?

Nope! All you need is an internet connection and access to YouTube!

How much does it cost to see a Sky Observers Hangout show?

It’s free!

I think the Adler is doing a great job and I want to support your efforts with a donation. Where can I do that?

We would be grateful if you donated to the Adler! Donations allow us to bring programs like Sky Observers Hangout to our audiences while the museum is closed to the public. No donation amount is too small. Donate here!

What kind of telescopes do you recommend?

We love this question so much, we wrote a blog article about it. Check it out!

Can I interact with Adler staff during Sky Observers Hangout?

Yes! If you are watching us when we’re live on YouTube, send us a message in the chat window. We can see your questions as they scroll by, and we’ll attempt to answer as many of them as we can during the show.

I asked a question during the show. Why didn’t someone answer it?

We will try to answer as many questions as we can during the show, but if the volume of messages and questions is too high, we may not be able to get to everyone’s question or comment.

If we didn’t answer your question, you can always message us after the show and we’d be happy to respond after the program. Email us at, or send us a message via social media using the hashtag #LookUp and let us know which show name and air date you are asking about. Depending on the volume of messages, it may take us a few days to respond with an answer.

How can I get notified about each event?

The best way to get notified about an event is to subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Where is the best place for me to go stargazing near Chicago? Can you recommend any dark sky locations?

This blog, Adler Sky Observing: Where To Go, is a great reference for potential sky observing locations near Chicago, State Parks, the Illinois Dark Sky Park, and more!

Note: the information listed in this blog is subject to change without prior notice, so check with relevant local authorities regarding any required fees, overnight use, availability, etc. Practice safe sky observing at all times. Beware of any ground obstructions or other hazards in any location. Follow all national, state, and local laws, rules, and regulations. Stay off of private property unless you have the property owner’s expressed permission. The Adler Planetarium assumes no responsibility or liability for any injuries or damage sustained during any activities at any of these locations or events.

How do I know if I am looking at a planet or a star in the sky?

Short answer: stars (usually) twinkle and planets (usually) don’t. The EarthSky website has a great page explaining the details of this phenomenon.

Can you recommend any stargazing apps?

Adler staff use quite a range of apps, and we each have our individual preferences. Some apps we use include Sky Safari, Stellarium, Starry Night, and Night Sky (available on iOS only).

Thank You To Our Sponsors

A special thank you to the Founding Donor of our public observing programs, The Petrovich Family


Your all-access pass to our universe!

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