“When is the ‘Universe of Surprises’ Lecture at the Adler Planetarium?” by S.M. O’Connor

How do scientists cope with surprises?  What does it feel like to be a scientist who thinks he or she might have found evidence of aliens?  Dr. Chris Lintott and Dr. Laura Trouille will deliver the lecture “A Universe of Surprises” at the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum over the first weekend in November.  The lecture will be delivered twice, at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 1, 2019 (All Saints Day) and at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 2, 2019 (All Souls Day).

The lecture “A Universe of Surprises” is part of the 2019 Fall Kavli Fulldome Lecture Series, presented by The Kavli Foundation.[1]  These lectures take place in the Grainger Sky Theater.  People around the world can see them live streamed online via YouTube360.

For the lecture on November 1st, tickets are $13 for adults, $5 for students, $5 for Adler Planetarium Members, and $5 for Friends of the Webster Institute.  For the lecture on November 2nd, tickets to the lecture for adults are covered by $28 Museum Entry + Above passes if one chooses “A Universe of Surprises” as the show.  Students, Adler Planetarium Members, and Friends of the Webster Institute can attend the lecture, again, for $5.  Click here to purchase tickets.

Dr. Chris Lintott is Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Oxford.  His forthcoming book The Crowd and the Cosmos: Adventures in the Zooniverse will be released on January 1, 2020.  One can pre-order if from Amazon.com now.  He is a televeision presenter on the B.B.C. series The Sky At Night.  Dr. Laura Trouille is Vice President of Citizen Science at the Adler Planetarium and a Research Associate at Northwestern University.

Together, Doctors Lintott and Trouille lead Zooniverse, which the Adler Planetarium describes as “the largest online citizen science platform” with 1,800,000 participants across the world.  There are two major Zooniverse projects: Galaxy Zoo and Planet Hunters.  Galaxy Zoo volunteers help sort images of distant galaxies.  The Planet Hunters search images from the Transiting Exoplanetary Survey Satellite (T.E.S.S.), which monitors over 200,000 stars for drops in brightness caused by the transit of planets.  [An exoplanet is a planet outside our Solar System.]  This is a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.)-led National Aeronautics and Space Administration (N.A.S.A.) mission.  M.I.T. and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics run the T.E.S.S. Science Office.

Sky Day

Friday, September 20, 2019 is Sky Day, a chance for people around the world to show their appreciation for clouds in the sky, as well as planets and distant stars in outer space by sharing pictures of the sky.  For Sky Day, the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum is gathering photos from Twitter with the hashtags #skydayproject and #adlerplanet.  The photos will be streamed in the Welcome Gallery.  Join Sky Day Director Ben Whitehouse at Galileo Café for Sky Talks and to snap pictures of the sky from out on the terrace.


As I wrote about earlier this week, the Adler Planetarium is kicking off Oktoberfest with the adults-only night event Adler After Dark: Rocktoberfest tonight, Thursday, September 19, 2019 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.    This event is for adults (twenty-one-years-of-age-and-over).  Pretzels will be served along with brews from Empirical Brewery and Marz Community Brewing Company.  The German Oompah band Die Musikmeisters German Band, which performs in the region from Chicago to Milwaukee, will be on stage.

Adler After Dark events occur every third Thursday of the month.  During Summer Hours (May-August), these events occur from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.  The rest of the year, Adler After Dark events occur from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  There is a different theme every month.  Click here to read the Cosplay & Costuming Weapons Policy.

Tickets are $20 for the general public and $10 for Members.  Click here to purchase tickets online in advance.  If any tickets remain unsold, they will be sold at the door at a cost of $25 for the general public and $15 for Members.

Tours of the Doane Observatory are $8 for the general public and Members alike.  Please note that the observatory program may be altered or canceled due to weather conditions at the discretion of observatory staff.

Illinois Discount Days

      Last month, I wrote about the remaining Illinois Discount Days in 2019 at the Adler Planetarium, and earlier this month I wrote about which days have free general admission (for Illinois residents) there this month.  Thursdays and Fridays in September are Illinois Free Days. On Illinois Discount Days, Illinois residents receive free General Admission.  A valid identification card with an Illinois address is required at the box office.  This covers access to all exhibits, but excludes the Atwood Sphere Experience and sky shows. On Illinois Resident Discount Days, Illinois residents may also upgrade to an All Access Pass at a discounted price and thereby gain access to the Atwood Sphere Experience, as well as the Adler Planetarium’s sky shows.


3rd Week of September

19th and 20th

4th Week of September

26th and 27th

Museum Day

       As I also wrote about last month, the Adler Planetarium, a Smithsonian Affiliate Museum, is one of thirty-three (now thirty-nine) Illinois institutions participating in Smithsonian Magazine’s 2019 Museum Day® on Saturday, September 21, 2019.  Click here to get Museum Day® tickets.

The Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum is located at the northeastern corner of Northerly Island, which is really a peninsula.  It is the only island from a chain of artificial islands Daniel Hudson Burnham, Senior (1846-1912) and Edward H. Bennett (1874-1954) called for in the Plan of Chicago.  Northerly Island is part of the Chicago Park District’s Burnham ParkThe Field Museum of Natural History, the John G. Shedd Aquarium, and Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum comprise the Museum Campus at the northern end of Burnham Park, east of Grant Park in downtown Chicago.  Soldier Field and the Lakeside Center of McCormick Place are immediately south of the Museum Campus.  The Arie Crown Theater is inside the Lakeside Center.

Normally, the Adler Planetarium is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  It is open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. from Memorial Day (May 27, 2019) through Labor Day (September 2, 2019) and during “Winter Break” from Thursday, December 26, 2019 through Wednesday, January 1, 2020.  It will be closed on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 28, 2019) and Christmas Day (Wednesday, December 25, 2019).

The address is 1300 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60605.  The phone number is (312) 922-7827.  The Website U.R.L. is https://www.adlerplanetarium.org.

[1] Fred Kavli (1927-2013) was a Norwegian-born American physicist and entrepreneur.  In 2000, he sold his company, the Kavlico Corporation, which was a manufacturer of sensors with aeronautical, automotive, and industrial applications, and founded The Kavli Foundation.

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