Skip to main content

Chicago's Adler Planetarium: 1st in America (Photos)

Adler Planetarium

Adler Planetarium

The Adler Planetarium — America's first — was founded in 1930 by Chicago business leader Max Adler. Three theaters and numerous astronomical artifacts provide plenty of interest for guests. Situated on Lake Michigan in downtown Chicago, the planetarium also boasts spectacular views of the lake and the city skyline. Visit http://www.adlerplanetarium.org for more information.

Adler Planetarium Aerial View

Adler Planetarium

This aerial view shows Adler Planetarium's relationship to the Chicago skyline in the background.

Grainger Sky Theater

Adler Planetarium

Visitors to Chicago's Adler Planetarium view a show in the Grainger Sky Theater. The Grainger Sky Theater will project the largest single seamless digital image in the world with an ultra high definition resolution of 8k x 8k pixels, far surpassing the cinematic standard of 2k x 4k pixels.

Deep Space Adventure Show in the Grainger Sky Theater

Adler Planetarium

The Deep Sky Adventure show plays in the Grainger Sky Theater at the Adler Planetarium.

Doane Observatory

Adler Planetarium

The Doane Observatory at Adler Planetarium is home to the largest aperture telescope available to the public in the Chicagoland area.

"Man Enters the Cosmos" Sundial

Adler Planetarium

At the Adler's entry plaza, a 13-foot working bronze sundial entitled "Man Enters the Cosmos" stands against the backdrop of the city's skyline and Lake Michigan. It is a modern take on an ancient timekeeping device, designed by Henry Moore in 1980. The sundial consists of two perpendicular semi-circles and a thin, vertical rod, known as a gnomon, which casts a shadow on the marked semicircle to keep time.

Definiti Space Theater

Adler Planetarium

Adler Planetarium’s Definiti Space Theater is a digital data visualization environment.

C. Stillwell/Adler Planetarium

This gallery allows visitors to drive a rover that's examining the surface of Mars, shoot projectiles into a soft surface to size up the craters they leave behind, and finally, sit down at a computer to build your own solar system and test its stability over time.

Milky Way Galaxy Exhibition in Adler Planetarium

C. Stillwell/Adler Planetarium

The Milky Way Galaxy exhibition introduces visitors to our home galaxy.

The Atwood Sphere in Adler Planetarium

C. Stillwell/Adler Planetarium

Atwood Sphere, Chicago's oldest planetarium, was constructed in 1913. The sphere is 15 feet in diameter with 692 holes drilled through its metal surface, allowing light to enter and show the positions of the brightest stars in the night sky.

CyberSpace Exhibit

C. Stillwell/Adler Planetarium

CyberSpace Exhibit in the Adler Planetarium, Chicago, IL.

Have a news tip, correction or comment? Let us know at community@space.com.