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Come on and join author Melissa Bradley as she sets off on her latest adventure...

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Chicago from A to Z...A is for Adler Planetarium

Hooray!! It is the Big Kickoff for this year's A To Z Blogging Challenge and I'm giving you all a tour of my hometown, Chicago, complete with favorite places, mysterious places, colorful characters and historic sites. I'm kicking off this tour with a quick trip to one of my favorite places on the Lakefront, the Adler Planetarium. This place will take you to the stars as well as provide a trip back through the very history of astronomy.


Founded in 1930 by Chicago businessman and philanthropist, Max Adler, The Adler Planetarium is the first of its kind to be built in the United States. It is in fact, the first planetarium built in the Western Hemisphere and is the oldest still in operation. Located on Northerly island, just off the Museum Campus area, the Adler contains one of the largest collections of astrolabes, sextons as well as other ancient astronomical equipment. On the basement level, you can learn to make your own astronomical tools as you sit in a makeshift classroom from Renaissance Italy. They even provide the scholarly robes, how cool is that?


Amongst the other amazing exhibits housed at the Adler, there is the Atwood Sphere, which projects a view of the Chicago night sky from 1913 with a 180 degree view of enhanced photos from the time. There is also the  prototype for the current Mars rover on display along with the Gemini 12 capsule once commanded by Jim Lovell of Apollo 13 fame, who happens to be a local resident. The rare books collection houses 3000 texts on the history of astronomy as well as star charts.


Care to come for a visit? I'll gladly show you around as I never get tired of the place. Now let's get to visiting some of my awesome fellow challengers...

35 comments:

  1. Aloha, Mel. You are right after me on the sign up list (I'm #506) and I'm going down the list slowly. Can't believe you chose Chicago for your theme, I'll be back every day to read your posts. Thanks. Gail visiting for AtoZ

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  2. The 1930's night skyline would be amazing. Oldest in the Northern Hemisphere? Impressive.
    Good to hear from you Melissa and glad you jumped into the Challenge!

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    1. It is an amazing experience, Alex. It's one of my favorite exhibits there.

      I'm really happy to be part of the Challenge. :)

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  3. I would love to see that! I've seen Chicago from afar, driving by, and I've always wanted to visit. I'm going to love your posts for the A to Z.

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    1. I hope you come to Chicago soon, I would absolutely love to show you around. I'm happy to hear that you love my theme. I really dig going around Chicago for fun and a change of my everyday scenery.

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  4. I know it would be an unforgettable experience if I could go there! I love stargazing!

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    1. Al, you would totally fall in love with the Adler. They have a sky watch event called Adler After Dark. It's wonderful.

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  5. That rare books collection would be fascinating Melissa. It's cool that you're focusing on your hometown. Is D going to be "Da Bears?" ;)

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    1. LOL, Maurice!! No Da Bears won't be my D, but I think you'll like it. There are some illuminated manuscripts in that rare books collection. It's amazing to see such a cool place all dedicated to the history of astronomy.

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  6. I love planetariums! Looking forward to exploring Chicago with you. I was there years ago but can't remember too much of the windy city other than the cold :)

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    1. It does get monstrously cold here sometimes, Siv. I look forward to showing you around here. You will really love the Adler.

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  7. I've never been to Chicago but if I ever go, I would love to see the Adler Planetarium ;)

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    1. I think you'd really love it, SK. There are a lot of cool exhibits and films in the Sky Theater.

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  8. Sounds like an incredible place to visit if I'm ever visiting the windy city.

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    1. Come on to the Windy City, Susan. You will have a blast for sure. The Adler is definitely one of the spots to go.

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  9. Yay, I love Chicago! This will be a fun theme for sure. :)

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    1. Thanks, Julie! I had a hard time narrowing my choices for some letters. LOL

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  10. Ooo...I wish I could visit. Maybe one day?

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    1. I would definitely love to see you here, Ellie!

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  11. Woot! I was born in Chicago, home of the Cubs. Happy A-Z Launch day!

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    1. Hi Mel! Yay for the Cubs!! My family is huge into the Boys in Blue. Happy Launch Day to you as well. :)

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  12. Great start to the A to Z Challenge. I'm so glad you're doing it again this year.

    Between the Keys

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    1. Thanks, KC!! I'm very happy to be back doing this. You are my partner in this, after all. :)

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  13. Oh this is going to be GREAT! And you're batting a thousand out of the gate!You're going to be the best tour guide ever - and I get to experience 25 more places people and things with you! Huzzah!

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    1. You are in for a treat, Craig! I'm so happy you are looking forward to more Chitown stops with me. I promise to be a great tour guide.

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  14. Weeee...! A to Zeeee...! This is how I found you in the first place, Melissa -- and my current re-launch cover quote thanks you! Meanwhile, your tour of Chicago sounds like a ton of fun. Although I lived outside of Detroit in my younger years, I only visted Chicago briefly when I was three. So your tour is going to be great.

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    1. That's right, Julia! We did find each other in the A to Z. I'm so happy to hear about the relaunch and a cover quote, holy moly that rocks. Thank you!! You definitely have to come to Chicago just like I have to get to Nova Scotia.

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  15. wow, sounds amazing, would love to sit in that classroom and look through those starmaps.

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    1. The classroom is awesome, it is one of the highlights for me. And the star maps are just breathtaking.

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  16. Adler Planetrium would be fun to visit, if I am ever in the area. I remember going to a planetarium as a kid, but I have not been to one in years. I am visiting from the A to Z Challenge, and I am enjoying this virtual tour of the world. Since I cannot afford to travel anywhere at the moment, this is quite splendid.

    Sweetbearies Art Projects

    Sweetbearies Art Photography

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    1. Hi J!! I'm so happy you dropped by. The A to Z is so much fun and you get to share so many intriguing experiences and adventures and knowledge. I'm an armchair traveler myself at the moment and it is wonderful.

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