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Calling All Space Cadets

By Ali Trachta in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 20, 2008 3:45PM

2008_02_foxypar4.jpgThe moon doesn’t care about the frigid weather – it’s holding its event anyway. A total lunar eclipse will occur tonight and the Adler Planetarium is raising the roof (literally) for an al fresco celebration. The generous folks at this Chicago landmark are opening the Doane Observatory to the public for this special event so stargazing visitors can see the eclipse up close. Peer through one of the souped-up telescopes to enhance your viewing pleasure, assuming you can see past the icicles on your eyelashes.

Astronomers will also be on hand to provide demonstrations and answer your celestial queries. The cosmic crossover begins precisely at 7:43 p.m., so you’ll have a chance to elbow you way into the Observatory and in front of a telescope lens between 7:00 and 11:00 p.m.

If it’s just too cold to get mooned, head inside for a live webcast of the eclipse set to be broadcast in one of the Planetarium’s classrooms.

A word to the wise – arrive early, as eclipse viewing during totality is not guaranteed if attendance is high. Also don’t lick the telescope. Your tongue might get stuck.

Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lakeshore Drive, Admission to the event is free.