(Brenna Hernandez / Shedd Aquarium)

If you’re seeking activities that don’t break the bank this winter, look no further than local museums, zoos and gardens. A number have announced free admission days in 2024.

A Geminid meteor streaks across the sky. (Stephen Rahn / Flickr Creative Commons)

Clear skies, a new moon and relatively warm temperatures will make for a great opportunity to catch the peak of the Geminid meteor shower Thursday — even in Chicago.

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

During the fall and spring equinoxes, the sun rises due east and sets due west, creating an effect dubbed “Chicagohenge.”

The Field Museum of Natural History. (Field Museum / Facebook)
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With a NASCAR street race set to take place outside their front doors, Chicago’s lakefront museums have had to shift gears and adjust operations in advance of the big event July 1-2.

(Dan Bartlett / NASA)

The Green Comet is making its closest pass to Earth Wednesday night and the skies are looking clear enough for Adler Planetarium to host a virtual viewing party.

This processed image of NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter was taken by the Mastcam-Z instrument of the Perseverance rover on June 15, 2021. (Courtesy of NASA)

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter is the first aircraft humankind has ever created that is capable of powered, controlled flight on another world. NASA’s team lead on the project discusses its significance. 

(Lim Yaw Keong / Pixabay)

Sky watchers will have their eyes peeled Wednesday night for a rare-ish celestial event: an “eclipse” of Mars.

A total lunar eclipse, seen from Joshua Tree National Park in 2015. (Brad Sutton / National Park Service)

Election Day 2022 will kick off with a pre-dawn total lunar eclipse. There won't be another like it until March 2025.

This view of Jupiter was captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft on Feb. 12, 2019, as the spacecraft performed its 17th science pass of Jupiter. (Courtesy of NASA / JPL-Caltech / SwRI / MSSS)

Jupiter is making its closest approach to Earth since 1963 on Monday night, and the views should be especially spectacular.

At dawn on June 24, the crescent moon will be placed between Venus and Mars. (Illustration courtesy of Sky & Telescope)

The five planets that are visible to the naked eye are now lining up in a particularly unique formation in the early morning hours, all of them appearing in the same part of the sky. Want to catch the show? We’ve got tips.

A total lunar eclipse, seen from Joshua Tree National Park in 2015. (Brad Sutton / National Park Service)

After a string of clear, sunny days, rain and clouds are expected to move in for the weekend. Depending on the extent of the cloud cover, the eclipse could still deliver an “ooh-aah” moment, or it could be a womp-womp for Chicago.

(WTTW News)
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Delivering on a promise she made when the owners of the Chicago Bears announced their purchase of the Arlington International Racecourse property, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the members of a working group tasked with reimagining the city’s lakefront museum campus.

(Neale LaSalle / Pexels)

Comet Leonard, discovered in January of this year by astronomer Greg Leonard, is racing toward the sun and will make its closest pass of Earth in the coming days. The Adler Planetarium is hosting a viewing session Tuesday morning. 

(Dids / Pexels)

For once, the weather cooperated in Chicago. Astronomers at the Adler Planetarium proclaimed: “What a stellar view!”

(Lim Yaw Keong / Pixabay)

If the skies are clear, Chicagoans will have an excellent chance of seeing the eclipse Friday morning, with the best hours for viewing the event being approximately 1:30-4:30 a.m.

Chicago as seen from the International Space Station. The Palos Preserves Urban Night Sky Place is outlined in green. (Courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center)

Palos Preserves has been named an Urban Night Sky Place by the International Dark-Sky Association. The site emits nearly 1,000 times less light than downtown Chicago, with four times as many stars visible in the night sky than can be seen in the city.