This week while I was in Chicago I decided to spend a few hours at the Adler Planetarium. The facility is beautiful architecturally and as it is located on the lake, affords excellent views of the city and the shore line. There are great presentations for kids, explaining the basics of our solar system and the universe in general with interactive displays and videos.
I took in a couple of shows while there as well. The first was Skywatch Live which simulated the actual date of the night sky in Chicago, dimming the light pollution to zero, and allowing those who do not have an opportunity to view the sky in a dark location the wonder of a truly dark location. I also viewed Planet Nine which simulated views of the Kuyper belt and explained the reasoning behind a Planet Nine hypothesis. Excellent visualizations and narration. Additionally and the end, we got to see a view of awards being presented to David Jewett who has been a speaker for our club a couple of times!
Finally I really enjoyed viewing the Adler’s telescope collection. They have a cousin to the Roper Mountain Science Center’s Observatory telescope, also made by Clark. While the objectives are no longer housed in the scope they have restored and preserved the OTA and mount beautifully. Also in the collection was the oldest telescope in the USA.
If you are ever in the Chicago area, the Adler Planetarium is definitely worth the visit!