What is a Planet? Adler Planetarium Chicago exhibition

What is a Planet? is both the name and central question behind Adler Planetarium's latest exhibit, now open at Chicago's stellar lakefront astronomy museum.

It's especially timely, opening on the 10-year anniversary of the infamous Pluto controversy. In case you forgot (or learned about the planets after Pluto ceased to be one), the International Astronomical Union voted Pluto off the list of officially recognized planets, and demoted it to a "Dwarf Planet."

Going through this exhibit, you'll learn more about the three factors that define a planet, and why some people think the last criterion was created to purposely exclude Pluto. You'll also learn about more recently-discovered celestial bodies and how they fit into the definition of being a planet (or not).

A lot of the exhibit focuses on the unexpected emotional reaction to Pluto losing its planet status from people all over the world. Who would've thought they would get so caught up on the official classification of Pluto?

Find out why Pluto got the boot in the exhibit What is a Planet?Exhibit artifacts at What Is A Planet?

As it turns out, the classification of planets has been the subject of fascination amongst us Earthlings for almost as long as we've tried to understand the shiny objects in the sky. One of the most interesting parts of the exhibit is an expertly curated collection of historical artifacts, including a star chart signed by Johannes Kepler himself!

There are several fun visual and interactive features of the exhibit, including interviews with Adler's own astronomers, and the option for visitors to cast their vote for how they think Pluto should be classified.

Vote for Pluto at the exhibit What Is A Planet?The interactive Adler exhibit What Is A Planet?

The exhibit itself is temporary, remaining open until January 2017. You'll be excited to know that it's included with a General Admission ticket purchase.

And for the museum-goer on a budget, keep your eye out for additional free museum admission days in Chicago to be released for Adler Planetarium — but as of right now there are none. Another great option? Chicago CityPASS or the Go Chicago Card so you can combo it up with other local attractions and other great Chicago museum exhibits.

Will you be checking out Adler Planetarium's new exhibit?


Adler Planetarium
Museum Campus
1300 S. Lake Shore Drive