Adler celebrates Chicago’s best glimpse of a total solar eclipse since 1806

CHICAGO -- As soon as you step inside the Adler Planetarium's new exhibit "Chasing Eclipses," you quickly realize you're about to see and learn about something extraordinary.

On August 21, parts of North America will see a total solar eclipse. The U.S. hasn't seen a total solar eclipse in 38 years, and this is the closest Chicago has been to one since 1806.

"For about two-and-a-half minutes there is a black hole in the sky when the eclipse happens; it's quite amazing," said Adler Observatory Director Larry Ciupik.

According to Ciupik, areas in a 70-mile wide band running from Oregon to South Carolina will be able to spot the total eclipse. Any other spot in the U.S. will get a partial eclipse of about 90 percent, including Chicago.  Carbondale, IL, a little over five hours south of Chicago, will see a total solar eclipse.

Chasing Eclipses gets visitors excited about what's to come, as well as providing a look at past eclipses. After the total solar eclipse this August, the next one won't appear until 2024- although it will once again be visible in Carbondale.

Another new Adler exhibit inspired by the book and Oscar-nominated movie Hidden Figures features artifacts, photos and quotes highlighting the contributions of women and minorities to space exploration.

"Seeing pictures and images of women, African American women in particular, in museums like ours is going to be really powerful and hopefully very inspiring," said Adler Curator of Experience  Annie Vedder. "We want to tell these stories that have remained hidden for so long."