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(Adler Planetarium / Facebook)

A return to pre-pandemic business as usual is not yet in the stars for the Chicago cultural institution, though some screenings and public observing events will make an in-person comeback beginning July 3.

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A lunar eclipse. (dexmac / Pixabay)

Chicagoans aren’t in the right place or time zone to see Wednesday’s lunar eclipse at its peak. Just when the show gets interesting, the moon will sink from view.

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“Chicagohenge” during the fall 2020 equinox. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

During the fall and spring equinoxes, the sun rises due east and sets due west, creating an effect dubbed Chicagohenge (in reference to Stonehenge), when sunset is strikingly framed by the city’s east-west streets.

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A photo taken on Dec. 13, 2020, shows Jupiter (the bright "star" on the right) closing in on Saturn to the left. (Bill Ingalls / NASA)

Jupiter is preparing to pass Saturn, an event known as a great conjunction. On Dec. 21, the two planets will come closer to each other than they’ve been in nearly 400 years — and it will be visible to the naked eye. 

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Chicago's east-west streets are the best place to view the fall equinox sunset. (Patty Wetli / WTTW)

During the fall equinox, the sun rises due east and sets due west, creating an effect dubbed “Chicagohenge” (in reference to Stonehenge), when the sunset is strikingly framed on east-west streets by the city’s skyscrapers.

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(Adler Planetarium / Facebook)

Museums and aquariums can now reopen their doors — with restrictions — but few of them have, and at least one Chicago institution says it will remain closed until phase five of Illinois’ reopening plan.

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Jupiter is one of the brightest objects in the night sky. Look for it in July. (Hypervel / Flickr)

July is a great month for planet watching. Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, Mars and Mercury will all make an appearance.

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(Adler Planetarium / Facebook)

A day after celebrating its 90th birthday, the Adler Planetarium laid off 120 part-time and full-time employees. The “difficult decision” was made “in order to help the Adler survive,” spokesperson Jennifer Howell said in a statement to WTTW News. 

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(picjumbo_com / Pixabay)

In a world in which scientific literacy is often lacking, the online platform Zooniverse.org is doing what it can to encourage “people-powered research.”

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(Brenna Hernandez / Shedd Aquarium)

A handful of museums and cultural institutions in and around Chicago are offering free admission to workers affected by the ongoing federal government shutdown. 

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NASA InSight’s first full “selfie” on Mars, taken Dec. 6, 2018, displays the lander’s solar panels and deck. On top of the deck are its science instruments, weather sensor booms and UHF antenna. (Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech)

From amazing new vistas of Mars to a little rover bouncing on a distant asteroid, an exploration of recent achievements in outer space with Adler Planetarium astronomer Lucianne Walkowicz.

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Mars is bright in the summer sky this week. (Credit: NASA / JPL / USGS)

For the next several days, the celestial event calendar includes some stellar highlights for observers in Chicago and around the globe.

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This computer-generated image depicts part of Mars at the boundary between darkness and daylight. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Later this month, the red planet will be just 35.8 million miles away – the brightest and closest it’s been to Earth since 2003.

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Rosaly Lopes (Twitter)

A conversation with NASA research scientist Rosaly Lopes, who will be recognized this week at an event celebrating women in space science. 

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From Chicago’s first major telescope, to the most sophisticated scientific instrument of the 12th century, a look at some seen and unseen treasures at the Adler Planetarium.

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(Courtesy Adler Planetarium)

Starting Friday, planetarium visitors will have another chance to explore the ever-evolving way humans view the universe.