Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum

Adler Planetarium was the first planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, fuels the imagination with exhibitions, state-of-the-art computer technology, hands-on activities for the family and three planetarium theaters. Catch a space show in the all-digital Definiti Space Theater on a screen that is 360° and more than 50 feet in diameter. Check out the Gemini 12 capsule, hop on the Lunar Leap and step on the Lunar Scale to find out how much you weigh on the Moon, and more.

In 1930, Max Adler founded the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum. He exhibited arts and artifacts from history of astronomy.

He purchased a collection of about 500 astronomical, navigational, and mathematical instruments from A. W. M. Mensing in the Netherlands. These instruments formed the foundation of the Adler’s History of Astronomy Collection, which has since grown to almost 2000 historic instruments. This makes it the largest collection of such material.

The History of Astronomy Department is a collection of rare books, astronomically- themed works on paper, and a modern reference library and research center. This unique collection has 2000 artifacts dating from the 12th through the 20th centuries.

The Adler Trust, a fund generated from the Adler’s share of receipts from the Chicago World’s Fair in 1933- 34, allowed the purchase of several hundred additional instruments.


The Universe: A Walk through Space and Time

Investigate the Universe’s evolution over 13.7 billion years. The sense of scale will astound you! Begin by traveling through a cosmic timeline that spans from the Big Bang to the present day, with exploding stars swirling around you with each step you take through the luminous tunnel. The exhibit divides into several interactive stations, each of which allows you to control the overhead projections with the swipe of a finger on a touch screen. From photographic telescopes to intergalactic e-postcards, the technology appeals to visitors of all ages and instills a sense of interconnectedness.

Our Solar System

“Our meteorite has traveled millions of miles to reach us.” “The very least you can do is come and touch it.” What a compelling point! This meteorite isn’t the only piece of the Universe available in Our Solar System. There are Moon rocks, Mars fragments, and even the opportunity to learn about the robotic rover that has been exploring the red planet’s surface since 2012.

What is a Planet?

Adler wonders aloud, “Did Pluto get a raw deal?” Now is your chance to vote and ponder the question, “If Pluto isn’t a planet, what is it?” What exactly is a planet? The British Society for the History of Science’s 2016 Great Exhibitions Competition awarded it first place for its innovation and engaging content, which draws on cutting-edge research to provide a fascinating and immersive visitor experience.

Mission Moon

Gain knowledge about America’s first moon landing and the voyage of an astronaut through the eyes of Captain Lovell. You can launch a rocket, race to save Apollo 13, peer inside the real-life spacecraft Gemini 12, and learn what it takes to be one of the first humans on the moon in this interactive exhibit.


Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum
1300 S. Lake Shore Dr.
Chicago, IL

Adler Planetarium, which extends out into Lake Michigan from its Museum Campus home, was America’s first planetarium and has since become a recognized leader in science education. Interactive theater programs, special exhibitions, and events including such lectures and watching parties transport you to the farthest reaches of the universe, from the profundities of powerful black holes to the heights of Voyager 1, the farthest human-made object from Earth.

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