Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum


In 1930, the first planetarium in the U.S. opened in Chicago. It was a gift from Max Adler, who had seen planetarium theaters in Germany. The Adler Planetarium used a Zeiss II projector, developed by Carl Zeiss Co. engineers for use in theaters with domes as large as 23 meters. Today, the planetarium uses a Zeiss Mark VI star projector. Adler now also has the world's first StarRider Theater, which combines state-of-the-art computer projection technologies with a sophisticated audience participation system to create a 3D, interactive virtual reality experience. The museum houses an extensive collection of astronomical instruments.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Mechanical
Topic(s):Space/Transportation
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:In 1912, before the projection planetarium was invented, the Chicago Academy of Sciences built a 15-foot, hollow, rotating globe, known as the Atwood Sphere. Made of sheet iron, with 692 holes for stars and phosphorescent paint for comets and nebulae, it was lit from the outside. Viewers observed the rotating "sky" from inside the globe itself.
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