For an out-of-this-world experience, look no further than the Adler Planetarium
. Extending out into Lake Michigan from its Museum Campus home, this is America's first planetarium and it has become a recognized leader in science education. Through immersive theater programs, numerous exhibitions and special events such as lectures and viewing parties, journey through the vast universe – from the depths of powerful black holes to the heights of Voyager 1, the farthest human-made object from Earth.
The museum is home to three full-size theaters, including the new Grainger Sky Theater, the all-digital projection Definiti Space Theater and the 3D Universe Theater.
Fashioned as the observation deck of a starship, the Grainger Sky Theater invites visitors to come aboard for the ultimate journey. Prepare for lift off with the premiere show, Deep Space Adventure, in the most technologically advanced theater in the world. Featuring scientific simulations from the most powerful supercomputers, and observations from the most advanced telescopes in existence, breathtaking visuals and stunning lighting effects surround you in a mind-blowing 360-degree experience. Watch as a star is torn apart by a black hole, witness the collision of two massive galaxies, and encounter a dramatic supernova explosion.
On the newest space adventure in Grainger Sky Theater, Welcome to the Universe, travel a billion light-years and back. This live, guided tour explores the breathtaking, seemingly infinite Universe as you virtually fly through space to orbit the Moon, zoom into a canyon on Mars, and soar through the cosmic web where a million galaxies shower down above. Much like the Universe itself, the show will constantly evolve. It will be updated weekly as the newest data becomes available, providing Adler visitors with an exclusive, first look at changes occurring in Earth and space science.
Other daily theater shows offer eye-opening experiences for all ages, such as:
- Undiscovered Worlds, for the inquisitive visitor who has pondered the question "Do other planets like Earth exist?"
New for 2012, the Adler unveils a sleek interactive exhibition exploring the evolution of the Universe over 13.7 billion years. At The Universe: A Walk through Space and Time, the sense of scale will leave you in awe. Begin by passing through a cosmic timeline that spans from the Big Bang to modern day, while exploding stars swirl afoot with each step through the luminous tunnel. Walking out further, the exhibit opens into various interactive stations, allowing you to control the overhead projections with the scroll of a finger on a touch screen. From photographic telescopes to intergalactic e-postcards, the technology relates to visitors across different ages and leaves you with a sense of interconnectedness – with the elements that form our human bodies and that make up the universe.
Other Adler Planetarium exhibitions include:
- Planet Explorers, the most hands-on exhibit ever created for families at the Adler, with three educational play areas to engage and entertain children ages 3-8
- Shoot for the Moon, highlighting the exciting stories of space exploration, with the fully-restored Gemini 12 spacecraft flown by Captain Lovell and Buzz Aldrin in 1966 as the centerpiece
Make a day of the Adler Planetarium – its stunning terrace views, sculptures and points of interest on campus offer interesting explorations outside the museum itself – or make a night of it at special events such as Adler After Dark.
View our Event Listing for more details on The Universe exhibit.