Adler Planetarium near Lake Michigan, Chicago, Illinois
© Amazing Aerial Agency/Offset by Shutterstoc
America's oldest planetarium
When it first flicked on the projector lights in 1930, the Adler Planetarium in Chicago was the only one in the Western Hemisphere. At the time, planetariums themselves were only a 7-year-old invention imported from German lens grinders. But the American public's fascination with stars and distant worlds, it turned out, was skyrocketing. By 1934, the Adler had welcomed over a million visitors.
And though our love for space endures, these days in Chicagoland it's tough to catch a clear night sky past all those wonderful bright lights of the Windy City. That helps explain why the Adler still pulls half a million visitors in a typical year, with three state-of-the-art auditoriums and even a massive telescope that lets visitors view far-off galaxies.