CHICAGO (CBS) – The Adler Planetarium in Chicago celebrates its 83rd Anniversary today. When it opened in 1930, Alder had the distinction of being the first planetarium in the Western Hemisphere. The institution is planning another first this year and some of its rarely-seen collections will be part of the show.
“This book is one of the most important books in the history of cartography,” said Marv Bolt, Vice President of Collections, Adler Planetarium. Underground and behind locked doors, he showed off one of the planetarium’s treasured possessions – a bound compilation from 1661 that includes a map of the night sky with drawings of the constellations.
It’s yellowed but in remarkably good condition and just one of hundreds of astronomical artifacts in Adler’s collection. There’s also a 400 year old brass globe, the oldest tabletop planetarium in the world, featuring the Earth, the Sun and the Moon while tracking the Earth’s revolutions in real time.