standard Adler Planetarium , the oldest planetarium

The Adler Planetarium located in Chicago, Illinois is the oldest planetarium and the first to be built in the Western Hemisphere. Located on Northerly Island, it is a part of Chicago’s Museum Campus along with the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum . Adler Planetarium is a popular spot to get amazing views of the Chicago skyline sitting on the northern end of an island in Lake Michigan which gives it unobstructed vantage point .

Adler Planetarium

Adler Planetarium , Chicago


Adler Planetarium

Inside Adler Planetarium

The Adler was founded and built in 1930 by the philanthropist Max Adler . For its design, architect Ernest A. Grunsfeld, Jr. was awarded the gold medal of the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 1931. Adler Planetarium was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987.

The Adler has three full-size theaters.  The Zeiss Planetarium projector is capable of accurately reproducing the movement of every aspect of the night sky. In 1999, the Adler expanded its exhibition space, including the addition of the Definiti Space Theater, a completely digital fulldome video environment powered by DigitalSky 2 software. The Adler is the only museum in the world with two full-size planetarium theaters. Outside the Planetarium are several sculptures, one named Man Enters the Cosmos, while the second is a Neoclassical sculpture of astronomer Nicholas Copernicus.

Adler Planetarium exhibits

As the the oldest planetarium and also the first planetarium in the western hemisphere, the Adler delights visitors with all new exhibits, state of the art computer technology and the world’s first StarRider Theater, while featuring renowned collection of historical astronomy artifacts. It has 35,000 square feet of exhibits. From scale models of the Solar System, to ancient astronomical instruments, to interactive adventures, Adler helps visitors explore the universe featuring exhibitions for all ages.

Here are the permanent exhibits :

adler exhibit

Adler Planetarium exhibit

  • One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure where visitors can explore the night sky with friends from Sesame Street as they take them into a journey about the Big Dipper, the North Star, the Sun and the Moon.
  • Shoot for the Moon is featuring exciting stories of space exploration. The fully-restored Gemini 12 spacecraft flown by NASA astronauts Jim Lovell and Buzz Aldrin is featured in the exhibition, along with an interactive Moon Wall where guests can view actual footage of the moon’s surface.
  • Bringing the Heavens to Earth where visitors can learn how different world cultures have engaged in the timeless quest to understand their place in the Universe, and found diverse ways to incorporate astronomy into their daily lives.

    Solar System

    Our Solar System

  • Telescopes: Through the Looking Glass is a celebration of the 400th anniversary of the telescope.
  • Planet Explorers where children become space explorers and embark on an awe-inspiring journey through the Universe. The new exhibit Planet Explorers is a hands-on exhibition created for families with childrens.
  • Our Solar System takes visitors in a journey around our Solar System with planets, moons, comets and asteroids.
  • CyberSpace is the future of museum going experiences. Its computer-based interactive exhibits, called VisionStations, provide realistic immersive experiences of the Universe.

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