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 - The outlook for the '80s: stability and...
The outlook for the '80s: stability and continuity. continued (mm page 14 district and the planetarium's board of trustees agreed the time was ripe tor the trustees to assume full responsibility, responsibility, and Chamberlain, whose title had been director, was elected president. Provisions were made for the planetarium to participate in the Aquarium and Museum Purposes Fund, administered by the park district, so Adler now enjoys the best of two worlds; it is an independent institution but receives financial assistance from the park district. In 1977, the planetarium underwent still another expansion wun tne auumuu of the Doane Observatory. From its beginnings, Adler lacked an observatory. observatory. "The Zeiss can do many wonderful things to recreate the heavens," Chamberlain Chamberlain says, "but there is nothing more beautiful than nature in the raw. Now we can get a pretty good picture right here on Lake Michigan." IEEt.EreiEtTil.lf.lM..T.Tit.lvll-"-- IEEt.EreiEtTil.lf.lM..T.Tit.lvll-"-- IEEt.EreiEtTil.lf.lM..T.Tit.lvll-"-- IEEt.EreiEtTil.lf.lM..T.Tit.lvll-"-- IEEt.EreiEtTil.lf.lM..T.Tit.lvll-"-- EPEHElilEMTiM.BrJ.lBl.l.l.M ..vmtu.m HIBBJiBHMt.l.-fcll.l.T.tlMliaiH.M..-it.i1H HIBBJiBHMt.l.-fcll.l.T.tlMliaiH.M..-it.i1H HIBBJiBHMt.l.-fcll.l.T.tlMliaiH.M..-it.i1H HIBBJiBHMt.l.-fcll.l.T.tlMliaiH.M..-it.i1H HIBBJiBHMt.l.-fcll.l.T.tlMliaiH.M..-it.i1H mm, Built with a $250,000 bequest from the estate of Chicago businessman Ralph E. Doane, the observatory contains a 16-inch 16-inch 16-inch reflecting telescope. Its control center transmits celestial images live through closed-circuit closed-circuit closed-circuit TV into the planetarium classrooms, and TV screens within the observatory do the same thing "for those waiting in line to peer through the telescope. Chamberlain emphasizes that the observatory observatory "is not set up for research. It is strictly for the public, the casual viewer. Research astronomers can go elsewhere where the sky is better for study." (Most major observatories are located far from the distracting light and polluted air of major cities.) For the '80s, Chamberlain foresees a period of stability and continuity. "We must improve what we have. No more physical additions are planned. Look at astronomy over the past 50 years: The increase in discoveries is greater than inflation, and we have to keep pace with new knowledge." The genial Chamberlain grimaces as the roar of a plane over nearby Meigs Field interrupts. "There is one physical improvement I could wish for, and that is the relocation of Meigs Field." Far below the sounds of Meigs' planes are the offices of Adler's five astronomers, astronomers, all with individual responsibilities but interdependent. "They are a fully committed group and work harmoniously," says Chamberlain. Chamberlain. "But they are hard-pressed." hard-pressed." hard-pressed." Supporting his position is the U. of C.'s Dr. Doyal Harper, who comments, "They are extremely competent and energetic, limited only in money, time, and staff." Another technological innovation, introduced introduced just this spring, is the Video Laser IV system devised jointly for Adler by senior astronomer Phyllis Pitluga and a team from the University of Iowa. "This is a six-color six-color six-color laser system that reacts electronically to music and other sounds," Pitluga says. "With it, we can produce a variety of effects through motion and brilliant color color changes." So, those dazzling, pulsating disco-like disco-like disco-like laser lights entered the world of the Sky Shows. Chamberlain cautions, however, that "unlike other planetariums, we won't use the laser as a separate show. A light show set to music isn't our goal. We will only use this system to strengthen the kind of show we already have. I feel the laser will do a better job in our regular presentations." Staff artist Max LaFontaine was anxious anxious about the laser's effects on the Adler shows. "Do the movie space shows spoil the educational impact of our shows? The kids want Martians, but there is no life on Mars. To paint scenes for our winter show was a challenge. We walk a tight line between the science science fiction Mars and reality. Mars' long, dry canyons alone would turn kids off. Maybe the laser now will compensate compensate in future shows." Many people, however, come to the planetarium for more than shows and exhibits. At Chamberlain's invitation, Dr. Eric D. Carlson joined Adler a few months after Chamberlain did, to organize organize an education program. With the continued on page 19 Chicago Tribune Magazine 16

Clipped from Chicago Tribune11 May 1980, SunPage 132

Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois)11 May 1980, SunPage 132
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