New Adler exhibit shines light on Chicago’s night sky

How many times have you looked up to the stars, if only to find the moon while illustrating Good Night, Moon? The folks at Adler Planetarium are betting the answer is close to “lots of times,” and the newest exhibit at the museum is dedicated to the art of looking up.

Chicago’s Night Sky showcases what the sky over the city has looked like throughout history and allows families to find better ways to see all of the stars.

In addition to learning where the stars are in relation to the city, families can learn about light pollution and what it means when trying to best view the night sky. Kids can also create their own constellations using an interactive station and visit the Atwood Sphere, which originated in Chicago and shows what the sky looked like in 1913.

There are also lots of pieces from Adler’s collection in the exhibit, including a Celestial Globe made by Gerardus Mercator in 1551, a Celestial Sphere made in Pakistan in the 1600s and a star finder from 1871.

The 5,000-square-foot exhibition will also be a home to art exhibits about the night sky and a spot for some of Adler’s youth initiatives, such as Zooniverse, Far Horizons and Youth Organization for Lights Out.

If you go

Chicago’s Night Sky

Free with museum admission

9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily

Learn more at

This article originally published in Chicago Parent’s January 2020 print issue.

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