Calling fellow science geeks to the Adler Planetarium! I know many people, including myself, were bummed out when Pluto was no longer classified as a planet. Now the classic elementary school planets acronym leaves us hanging: My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine. Nine what?! Welp, it's no longer Pizzas.
Don't fret! The Adler Planetarium's newest sky show, Planet Nine, explores the largest of Pluto's neighbors in the Kuiper belt and invites you to join in the search for a new planet. That's right - there's news of a potential ninth planet lurking in our Solar System.
Planet Nine in the Adler's Grainger Sky Theater is an adventurous and educational experience. The screen surrounds you in a dome-like room, so while you're sitting and looking up, you feel as though you're flying through space. A live narrator takes you through our Solar System and what it may be hiding, including dwarf worlds, thanks to the research done by astrophysicist Dr. Mike Brown and his team at CalTech.
I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of humor in this show. Most scientists get a rep of being dry and boring but not Dr. Brown. There are moments when the narrator doesn't speak and you hear clips of Dr. Brown talking about this adventure of finding a new planet. "...we wrote a quick proposal to the director of the Hubble Space Telescope, essentially saying ‘so hey, we found something, and it's as big as Pluto or maybe bigger. Will you maybe take a picture of it with your telescope?' And they said ‘uh, yeah!'"
Who doesn't love a good space flick? Interstellar, The Martian, even the classic 1998 rom-action Armageddon makes you go full nostalgic about your dreams of being an astronaut. Yours truly wanted it so badly I went to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama in middle school. You can't help but feel those same excited emotions while watching Planet Nine. The beautiful computer simulations show cutting edge fronter science in an accessible sky show form for everyone.
Planet Nine opened on May 28, and shows run daily in the Grainger Sky Theater. Admission to Planet Nine is included with an Adler Planetarium All Access Pass.
1300 S Lake Shore Dr
Summer Hours (June 18- Aug 14): 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
- Ages 12-64: $12
- Ages 3-11: $8
Visit www.adlerplanetarium.org to learn more about all the shows and exhibits it has to offer.
Photos courtesy of Adler Planetarium.