One of the most popular attractions in Chicago is the Adler Planetarium with its astronomy museum. It is the oldest planetarium in North America and was founded in 1930 by Chicago businessman, Max Adler.
According to anycountyprivateschools, the Adler Planetarium in the US state of Illinois is located on Lake Michigan in Chicago. It is part of Chicago’s Museum Campus along with the John G. Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum of Natural History.
Exhibits on space, the universe, the planetary system and historical exploration to the present day are on display at the Adler Chicago.
Since the opening of the Adler, the collection has grown to around 8,000 objects, books, works on paper, archive collections, paintings and photographs.
The Adler Astronomy Museum is also known for its large collection of historical instruments.
History of the Adler Planetarium & Museum
1923 – Walther Bauersfeld, scientific director of the Carl Zeiss company in Germany, designs an optical projection device to project the starry sky. The planetarium is born.
1928 – Max Adler and architect Ernest Grunsfeld travel to Germany. Adler is so impressed with the modern planetarium. He begins raising funds to build a planetarium in Chicago.
1930 – Max Adler buys the collection of AW Mensing an impressive collection of antique scientific astronomical instruments. The Adler Museum & Planetarium opens its doors to the public.
1933 – The Century of Progress International Exposition is held on the Museum Campus next to the Adler Planetarium.
1952 – Max Adler dies.
1967 – Responsibility and governance of the Adler Planetarium is shared with the Chicago Park District. The museum and planetarium building are renovated and the original Zeiss projector is replaced with a new projector “Mark VI Zeiss”.
1977 – The Doane Observatory opens.
1987 – The Adler Planetarium is designated a National Historic Landmark.
1999 – The 60,000 square foot Sky Pavilion expands the Adler Planetarium. It features four new exhibition spaces, including the historic Atwood Sphere and the former Starrider Theater.
2007 – The Chicago Planetarium unveils its new Space Visualization Laboratory, making the latest images from space exploration available to the public.
2010 – The revision of the historic Sky Theater in the Adler Planetarium begins. It is renamed the Grainger Sky Theater in 2011. Technologically, it is now the most advanced domed theater in the world.
The Doane Observatory in Chicago
East of the Alder Planetarium is the Doane Observatory, which opened in 1977. It houses the largest telescope in the Chicago area.
The Lake Michigan Observatory is the only place in Chicago where the public can see planets, stars and galaxies up close. With a mirror diameter of 20 inches (0.5 m), the telescope collects over 5,000 times more light than the unaided human eye can combine. Celestial objects such as the moon, planets, stars and galaxies billions of miles away can be seen.
The Doane Observatory is currently undergoing renovations, with the first phase of the renovation being completed in September 2014.
Theater at the Cicago Adler Planetarium
In the Adler Planetarium there are three theater rooms with astronomical demonstrations.
Definiti Space Theater
The Definiti Space Dome Theater offers a spectacular journey in a show with a fully digital projection system.
Grainger Sky Theater
The largest domed theater in the Adler Planetarium is the Grainger Sky Theater with unique shows full of technical highlights.
Samuel C. Johnson Family Star Theater
The Samuel C. Johnson Family Star Theater presents visitors with an unrivaled high-definition 3D show.
Exhibitions at the Chicago Planetarium on Lake Michigan
Adler’s Planet Explorers is an exhibition for families with children. Children learn about space in a playful way. They become scientists, astronauts and space explorers.
Our solar system
Here you can explore the sun and the surrounding eight planets virtually. Highlights of the exhibit include tangible pieces from Mars, the Moon, meteorites, and the asteroids Ceres and Vesta.
The Universe: A Journey Through Space and Time
Interactive exhibition of how the universe came into being over 1.37 billion years, from the Big Bang to the present day. Many media shows visitors how galaxies, stars, planets were created.
Historic Atwood Sphere
The Atwood Sphere is Chicago’s oldest mechanical planetarium. It was built in 1913 and is 15 meters in diameter. 692 holes in its metal surface, showing the positions of the brightest stars in the night sky. During operation, the sphere rotates slowly and the stars begin to move around the viewer. Originally, this device was used to bring pilots closer to the night sky.
: Through the Looking Glass reveals a great deal of information about our universe and our place in it.
Shoot For The Moon
The permanent exhibition shows the exciting history of human exploration of space. The exhibit begins with a journey with Jim Lovell, featuring the restored Gemini-12 spacecraft and Lovell’s collection of personal space artifacts.
An interactive moon wall allows visitors to fly over the lunar surface.
Astronomy In Culture
Astronomy In Culture tells the story of the understanding and use of astronomy in ancient and medieval cultures.
Bringing Heavens To Earth
Since ancient times, people have viewed the heavens with awe and wonder, drawn inspiration from them, and planned their lives accordingly. This exhibition introduces the visitor to the Astronomy Museum about human cultures and their perspective on the sky and the universe.
Universe In Your Hands
There was a time when people believed that the earth was the center of the universe. Exactly this time can be seen in this exhibition. Visitors learn how to use early astronomy tools, astrolabes and sundials.
Space Visualization Lab (SVL)
In the Space Visualization Lab, museum visitors can meet astronomers, scientists and historians and examine their work.
Cyberspace showcases the latest discoveries in space science. It is a computer-based interactive exhibition with realistic experiences of the universe and a cyber classroom on the latest scientific technologies.
Quarterly lectures on current astronomy topics are also offered in the Adler Planetarium. A quarterly “Hack Days” supports the advancement of software developers, designers, scientists, engineers and artists.
Admission prices & opening hours of the Adler Planetarium
With the Basic Pass you can visit the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. The Basic Package is $24.95 for adults and $19.95 for children 11 and under. It is also a good idea to buy the Chicago City Pass, which you can use to visit several Chicago attractions such as the Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, Skydeck Chicago, 360 CHICAGO or the Museum of Science and Industry Chicago.
The Adler Planatarium is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Getting & Getting to the Adler Planetarium in Chicago
From the north, take Lake Shore Drive (US-41) south to the 18th Street exit. Turn left on 18th Street to Museum Campus Drive. Then turn right onto Solidarity Drive.
From the west, take the Eisenhower Expressway I-290 east to Congress Parkway. Then turn right onto Columbus Drive to Lake Shore Drive (US-41). Continue south down this road to the 18th Street exit. Turn right on 18th Street to the Museum Campus and onto Solidarity Drive.
From the South, take Lake Shore Drive North (US-41) north. Continue on Lake Shore Drive to the 18th Street exit. Follow 18th Street to Museum Campus Drive and then turn right onto Solidarity Drive.
Solidarity Drive takes you to Lynn White Drive, where the Adler Planetarium parking lot is located.
By bus, you can take the following lines:
#146 Inner Drive / Michigan Express / Museum Campus
#130 Museum Campus (mid-May through Labor Day)
By train, take the Red, Orange, or Green lines to Roosevelt CTA. From there, take bus #146.
Address of the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, Illinois
1300 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605