CONGRATULATING THE ADLER PLANETARIUM ON ITS 75TH ANNIVERSARY -- (Extensions of Remarks - May 13, 2005)
HON. JUDY BIGGERT
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2005
Mrs. BIGGERT. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the Adler Planetarium on its 75th Anniversary. As the first planetarium established in America and the Western Hemisphere, it has firm standing as a pioneer in the field of astronomy. Its focus on the heavens has inspired generations to reach for the stars.
Among its many accomplishments in the past 75 years, there are several that are especially stellar. Astronomers at Adler helped convert light from the star Arcturus into the electrical signals that turned on the opening lights at the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago. Adler began a partnership with the National Science Foundation in 1964 to create the Astro-Science workshop for Chicago area high school students--a relationship that endures to this day. And earlier this year, NASA selected Adler to be its education partner for the Interstellar Boundary Explorer mission, set to launch in 2008. It is clear that, in the opening years of the new millennium, Adler's great tradition of space and science research is stronger than ever.
The Adler Planetarium houses one of the world's finest collections of historic astronomical artifacts, dating as far back as the 12th century. A centerpiece of this collection is the world's oldest sundial, which was crafted in 1529. It also has a telescope once used by William Herschel, the astronomer who discovered Uranus in 1781.
Adler has made investments in Chicago area schools to provide them with access to exhibits, astronomers, and scientists through videoconferencing, enhanced websites, and learning instruction techniques. These efforts to educate Chicagoans young and old are a core part of its mission.
Mr. Speaker, for many years, children of all ages have been fascinated by space and the world beyond our own. Modern youngsters watch clips of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon and gaze to the heavens in wonder--wondering how it was done and how they can do it themselves. As a planetarium, Adler harnesses these vague dreams of space science, space walks, and space travel into tangible reality. The inspiration it feeds our youth is arguably its most important contribution in the past 75 years.
With the hopes that it continues its great works for at least another 75 years, I am proud to congratulate the Adler Planetarium on its diamond anniversary.