Afternoon Edition: July 12, 2021

Today’s update is a 5-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

SHARE Afternoon Edition: July 12, 2021
The Pelican Nebula

The above image released October 13, 2003, taken with the Mayall 4-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona, show the Pelican Nebula, also known as IC 5070. The Pelican Nebula spans about 30 light years and lies about 1800 light years away toward the constellation of Cygnus. Millions of years from now this nebula might no longer be known as the Pelican, as the balance and placement of stars and gas will leave something that appears completely different.


Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 5-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.

Afternoon Edition signup

Afternoon Edition

Chicago’s most important news of the day, delivered every weekday afternoon. Plus, a bonus issue on Saturdays that dives into the city’s storied history.

This afternoon will be mostly cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms and a high near 75 degrees. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a low around 66. Tomorrow will be partly sunny with a chance of showers and a high near 83.

Top story

Photographer takes stunning images of nebulas and galaxies — all from light-polluted downtown Chicago

Downtown Chicago’s light pollution makes it nearly impossible to see stars in the night sky, yet Gian Lorenzo Ferretti can see nebulas thousands of light years away while standing right on his balcony in the heart of the city.

Since November, Ferretti has been posting his astrophotography on his Instagram (@gianlorenzo_photography), capturing vibrant images of nebulas and galaxies with his telescope from his home in University Village.

“A lot of the people that follow me thought I was photoshopping the photos or creating them on my own,” He said. “I’m not making anything up.”

While he works as an architectural photographer, he has always been passionate about astrophotography even before he knew much about it.

Ferretti captures the pictures using narrow-band filters on his telescopes, the same kind of filters NASA uses on the Hubble Space Telescope, he said. The filters allow narrow light wavelengths to pass through, cutting out all light pollution. They then isolate the gas emissions of the nebula he targets, allowing him to capture these photos.

“A few years ago it would’ve been unthinkable to shoot astrophotography here,” he said. “You can still do something really cool, even if you’re in one of the most light-polluted cities in the U.S.”

Learn more about how Feretti takes the pictures and his plans for the future.

More news you need

  1. An 18-year-old woman was pronounced dead after her body was pulled from the Chicago River early yesterday near Goose Island on the North Side. The woman, who has been identified by the Cook County medical examiner’s office, was unresponsive when she was pulled from the river, police said.
  2. An FBI agent’s successful legal battle could result in additional benefits for almost two million other long-serving veterans who want to further their education. The man, who lives in Virginia, had sued the government, arguing that the federal VA shortchanged him on tuition benefits provided under the GI Bill.
  3. Chicago business groups are nervous as Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi, citing evidence of longstanding inequities, reviews assessments citywide. The reform-minded Kaegi faces a big test in reassessing property values after we reported the county’s “senior freeze” tax program was riddled with errors and weak oversight.
  4. The Berghoff is back slinging fresh beers and delicious German food in the Loop. The venerable downtown restaurant and its Adams Street Brewery fully reopened today for the first time amid the pandemic.
  5. A 15-year-old from Aurora and a Naperville gym manager are among Chicago-area athletes competing on tonight’s episode of “American Ninja Warrior.” The new episode airs at 7 p.m. on NBC.
Subscription Offer
Support civic-minded, independent journalism by signing up for a Chicago Sun-Times digital subscription.

A bright one

Lincoln Park Zoo welcomes baby piping plover

An endangered piping plover chick has hatched at Lincoln Park Zoo.

Chicago’s most famous bird parents, Monty and Rose, welcomed three new chicks into the world earlier this month at Montrose Beach Dunes Natural Area. But when Monty and Rose decided to dote on the fluffy new arrivals, they abandoned a fourth, unhatched egg.

So the folks at Lincoln Park Zoo moved in.

“After spending a day closely monitored at the zoo in a hatcher, the chick hatched July 10 and appeared strong, healthy and vocal,” according to a statement from the zoo.


Piping plover mates Rose and Monty welcomed a new member of the family after a chick they abandoned was hatched at Lincoln Park Zoo on Saturday.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file

The newest chick has now been returned to its parents, where Rose immediately began caring for it, the zoo said.

“We are honored to play a part in the recovery and conservation efforts of these incredible plovers,” said Sunny Nelson, the Hope B. McCormick Curator of Birds and Wildlife Policy. “We are cautiously optimistic but remain hopeful the chick will thrive alongside its parents.”

Read Stefano Esposito’s full story here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

Where’s the best place near Chicago to go see the stars in the night sky?

Email us (please include your first name and where you live) and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Reply to this email (please include your first name and where you live) and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

On Friday, we asked you: How would you describe deep dish pizza to someone who’s never had it before?

“It’s like if you take a regular pizza and mate it with a casserole, and slather it with awesome.” — Mike Irving

“It’s like diving into a pool of yummy cheese and tomato sauce with a savory flakey bottom.” — Philip Garofalo

“Above ground swimming pool made of bread filled with molten hot lava covered in a cheese tarp.” — Jeff Riemersma

“The pizza only tourists eat.” — Mary Puckett Shaughnessy

“The Pizza we give to tourists. Then I’d take them for some real Chicago pizza.” — Kenny Perales

“The first thing I say is that most Chicagoans eat thin crust pizza. Deep dish is a tourist thing. Real Chicago pizza is thin crust, tavern style.” — Mary E. Sullivan Bauer

“What can we say about deep dish? We can say that most of us love our beloved deep dish but truthfully we are most likely to order a thin crust tavern style pizza. (We make terrific thin too!) Occasionally, when the mood strikes us we will choose a deep dish.” — Melissa Bernardin

“Deep dish can be described as having all of the flavor you associate with pizza and a heavy consistency that can be compared to lasagna. The sauce tends to be a little bit spicy and typically is baked for around 40 minutes which gives the crust more of an oven baked bread flavor. It tastes familiar and like nothing else in the world all at once.” — Rich Williamson

Thanks for reading the Chicago Afternoon Edition.Got a story you think we missed? Email us here.

Sign up here to get the Afternoon Edition in your inbox every day.

The Latest
People who read don’t censor books, writes Natalie Moore, who talked with the former head of the American Library Association about the current wave of book bans across the country.
The Platform Committee — some 200 Democrats from 57 states and territories — will hold a virtual hearing on July 9.
Count Fedde among GM Chris Getz’s most valuable commodities.
The All-Star Game, which will feature Team USA and a team of WNBA All-Stars, will be played in Phoenix on July 20.