College of LAS « Illinois

College and Campus Trivia

fair poster

Light from this star, one of the brightest in the night sky, was used by the U of I Observatory annex to send a signal to open Chicago’s Century of Progress fair in 1933.

Which star was it?

Answer: Arcturus

On May 27, 1933, the rays of the star were transmitted to Chicago where they signaled the floodlights of the exhibition to turn on. It was calculated that Arcturus’s light took 40 years to reach Earth, so its journey began during the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

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