Adler Planetarium free stargazing events
Where: Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive, West side of Main building.
When: Saturday, February 18, 2017, 7:00PM–10:00PM.
This event is free, open to the public, family friendly and weather permitting.
Chicago Astronomers will set-up their equipment just west of the Adler Planetarium to view the winter night sky on a beautiful warm winter night. Temps are temps forcast to be in the high 50’s or low 60’s.
What you’ll see
Enjoy planets, star clusters and Nebulae. View a brilliant Venus and ruddy Mars as well as the Orion nebula, the brightest night time star Sirius, (looks like a diamond in the eyepiece) and some nice star clusters, including the Pleiades.
Venus will be in the west-southwest during twilight, then lower in the west after dark until setting around 9 p.m. Venus is at its peak brightness all February. To the upper left of Venus is a tiny orange spot which is Mars
Orion is clearly visible in the night sky from November to February. Orion is in the southwest sky if you are in the Northern Hemispher. The Orion Nebula—a formation of dust, hydrogen, helium and other ionized gases rather than a star—is the middle “star” in Orion’s sword, which hangs off of Orion’s Belt.
The Orion Nebula is farther away than any of the naked eye stars at a distance of about 1,600 light-years. One light-year is the distance light travels in a single year, about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion kilometers).
Sirius, also known as the Dog Star or Sirius A, is the brightest star in Earth’s night sky. Sirius it’s relatively close to Earth (8.6 light-years). If the star were placed next to Earth’s sun, Sirius would outshine it more than 20 times over.
Doane Observatory (closed on Feb 18)
The Adler Planetarium is home to the largest aperture telescope available to the public in the Chicago area, the Doane Observatory.
Located on the east side of the Adler’s main building, along Lake Michigan, its 20-inch (0.5 m) diameter mirror, can gather over 5,000 times more light than an unaided human eye, allowing you to see celestial objects like the Moon, planets, stars, and galaxies that are trillions of miles away (weather permitting). The bigger the aperture of a telescope, the sharper and brighter the view will be.
The Doane Observatory is open periodically for safe, daytime telescope views of the Sun from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Please inquire at the Box Office when you arrive or call that morning to find out if the Observatory is open that day. Because use of the Observatory is highly dependent on weather conditions and volunteer schedules, this daily schedule may change, at the last minute, without advance notice. Admission to the Doane is included in General Admission. You may also access the Doane during Adler After Dark for $5.
Future dates TBA
The Adler Planetarium has a FREE series of events called Scopes in the City where they are set up telescopes at various locations around the city for anyone to come out and enjoy the celestial view. Depending on the dates, times and locations of the ‘Scopes in the City events, attendees may be able to observe the Sun, Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, and more!
This summer and all year long, Adler astronomers and educators will bring the museum—and the Universe—a little closer. With ’Scopes in the City, Adler staff and volunteers will lead free telescope observing in Chicago neighborhoods.