Us, and the Universe: A Day at Adler Planetarium

by Pat McFarland

Tuesday, Sept. 3 — a warm, sunny day in Chicago.

Forward Chicago members and Dr. Daniel Grin (the “Pied Piper of Physics”) were “working out” of the Sulzer Library, Adler Planetarium and Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics (KICP) at the University of Chicago grant to educate seniors about the workings of the universe.

That meant we were all at the Adler Planetarium Science Lab viewing colliding solar systems in 3-D, viewing a distant galaxy’s “family photos” of newborn planets, and witnessing a Red Giant Star navigate its way thru those terrible teens on its way to becoming a neutron star.

We “interrogated” Dan and his co-presenter, Eric. They were both charged with being incredibly well informed, possessing unlimited patience, and having an abundant talent for presenting understandable explanations. A view of the dome show and then a gorgeous view of the Chicago skyline from the Adler created an outstanding ending and “closed the case.”

This is a true story from the files of Forward Chicago and expresses the genuine excitement, energy, appreciation and just plain fun we all had at this museum. Dan and his associates from KICP and the University of Chicago are dedicated to advancing our comfort and understanding of where we are in the universe — and help us feel we all are really part of the same world.

Join our next exploration on Oct. 6 at Sulzer Library at 6:30 p.m. for the next event in the Astrophysics for All series. Dr. Richard Kron from the University of Chicago will discuss “The Realm of the Nebulae.”

Read Pat’s previous post about what inspired her interest in learning more about the universe.


Forward Chicago, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization, envisions our neighborhoods as model communities for people of all ages, where residents can age in place while remaining active, engaged and influential.

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