On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will be visible in parts of the United States for the first time since 1979. In Chicago, at 11:54 am CST, the Moon will start to block our view of the Sun, covering up to 87 percent of it by 1:19 p.m. The last time Chicago was this close to the path of totality (when the Moon blocks the Sun completely) was 92 years ago in 1925. In celebration, the Adler Planetarium is throwing a giant block party, inviting everyone to come together to experience this rare celestial event as a community, and making it possible by offering free general admission to all.
From 9:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m., the Adler is hosting Chicago’s Eclipse Fest—the celebration of the summer—on the Adler grounds and in the parking lot adjacent to the planetarium. All guests will receive free safe solar viewing glasses, and can enjoy live entertainment, hands-on science for all ages, programming from partners across the city, local food trucks, and experience the solar eclipse with 10,000 of their Chicagoland neighbors and friends.
Inside the museum, guests will receive free general admission to check out Alder Planetarium exhibitions, including the newest, Chasing Eclipses, which prepares visitors to experience an eclipse. Guests will also be treated to a live-feed of the total solar eclipse from locations that are in the path of totality in one of our immersive dome theaters.
Chicago Eclipse Fest experience includes A Mad Science Show live on stage, entertainment by Jim & the Povolos, eclipse trivia and fun for kids as well. For those who work in the Chicago Loop and cannot make it to the planetarium during the eclipse Adler Planetarium will host a viewing station at Daley Plaza. Adler staff will be on-site to hand out safe solar viewing glasses and answer eclipse-related questions.
Finally, The Adler Planetarium is partnering with Southern Illinois University to provide eclipse-day programming in and around the SIU football stadium. SIU is located in Carbondale, Illinois, which is directly in the path of totality (where the Sun will be covered completely). SIU staff estimate that up to 50,000 visitors from Illinois and beyond will join the celebration. Tickets and information are available at eclipse.siu.edu.For more information on the Adler’s eclipse-day plans, visit the planetarium’s solar eclipse page at http://www.adlerplanetarium.org/events/total-solar-eclipse-2017-08-21/.
Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
Adler Planetarium exterior (photo courtesy of the Adler Planetarium).