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Minnesota Astronomy

ExploraDome's Network

 Please feel free to explore similar planetariums on our partner sites located below. Like the ExploraDome, these facilities represent the first school planetariums of their kind in the world; scaling real data continuously from the earth to the edge of the observable universe. Learn more about these fine facilities:

Como Planetarium 
- Saint Paul, MN; Phone: (651) 293-5398

Jackson Middle School Observatory - Champlin, MN

Journey Museum  - Rapid City, SD; Phone (605) 394-6923

Mankato East High School Planetarium - Mankato, MN; Phone: (507) 387-5671

Mayo High School Planetarium – Rochester, MN; Phone: 
(507) 438-5600

Minnesota State Moorhead Planetarium - Moorhead, MN; Phone: (218) 477-2920

Southwest State University Planetarium - Marshall, MN; Phone: (507) 537-6173

University of Wisconsin River Falls Planetarium - River Falls, WI; Phone: (715) 425-3560

If you have other questions, please see our FAQ or email info@bellmuseum.org .


Planetariums


Como Planetarium
- Saint Paul, MN; Phone: (651) 293-5398
This small school planetarium seats 63 guests and is located in Saint Paul's Como Elementary school. School programs and private shows are available upon request and availability. See their website for a listing of their public shows and astronomy events.

Mankato East High School Planetarium- Mankato, MN; Phone: (507) 387-5671
Public shows are hosted by the Mankato East High School Astronomy Club- many of which are free. Please call ahead to make reservations. Private and school programs may be available upon request.

Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium- University of Minnesota, Duluth, MN; Phone: (218) 726-7129
Free public shows Wednesday and Friday evenings at 7:00pm. Private shows are available for schools, camps, scouts, family or business events and birthday parties. The planetarium is located on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus.

Mayo High School Planetarium- Rochester, MN; Phone: (507) 328-5600
This small planetarium is available for school and group programs. Call to make reservations.

Paulucci Space Theatre
-
Hibbing, MN ; phone (218) 262-6720
Located in Northern Minnesota, this public planetarium offers night sky shows, planetarium multi-media programs, and large format films. Enjoy programs in their 40 foot diameter domed theater and enjoy activities in their "Kid's Corner." The theater is located on the Hibbing Community College campus and is owned and operated by that institution.

Southwest State University Planetarium
- Marshall, MN; Phone: (507) 537-6173
This planetarium offers a variety of public and group shows and programs. Check the planetarium's website for astronomy resources.

St. Cloud State Planetarium
- Saint Cloud, MN; Phone: (320) 308-2011
Public nights at this planetarium include chances to look through telescopes to see the real stars with your own eyes.


Observatories

Look a the stars for yourself using telescopes at any of these Minnesota Observatories.

Tate Lab of Physics
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
The Minnesota Institute of Astrophysics hosts Friday night public viewing during the fall and spring semesters on the rooftop of the physics building on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota campus. During the summer months join representatives of the Institute at Universe in the Park events at area state and local parks.

Eisenhower Observatory- 
Hopkins, MN; Phone: (952) 988-4077
On the 3rd floor of the Eisenhower Community Center in Hopkins--1001 West Hwy 7. Special presentations available for scouts or class groups by reservation. Open to the general public for viewing by calling for reservations. Run by volunteer experts, this 12 inch Lawrence Sauter telescope is your transport to the stars. A $2 donation for adults, $1 for students, and $35 for group reservations is requested.

Jackson Middle School Observatory- Champlin, MN
The Anoka-Hennepin School District is one of the few in the nation to have their own observatory and planetarium. In this unique setting, groups can view the night sky through their 14 inch Meade telescope on clear nights or take a trip through the universe in the planetarium.

Eagle Lake Observatory- Norwood-Young America, MN
Public Star Parties are held approximately every other Saturday from March to November at 1st quarter and 3rd quarter moons. Public viewing schedule can be found online. Star parties are free and open to all, however Baylor Regional Park will charge a small parking fee.

Macalester Observatory- Saint Paul, MN
The Physics and Astronomy department host public observing nights at their science-grade observatory. Check their website or call for dates.

Goodsell Observatory- Carleton College, Northfield, MN
In Goodsell's main dome, there is a 16.2 inch John Brashear refractor and in the smaller dome there is an 8 1/4 inch Alvan Clark and Sons refractor. Both are over a hundred years old. Goodsell also has some modern telescopes which consist of 8 inch, Meade "Schmidt-Cassegrain LX200" telescopes. These telescopes are used for setting up outside on observing piers during observing classes and public or private open houses.

Sola Fide Observatory-
Austin, MN; Phone: (507) 437-7519
Part of the Hormel Nature Center in Austin, volunteers host public viewing nights two Saturdays a month.

Mankato State Observatory- Mankato, MN
The public is invited to visit the Standeford Observatory on clear Thursday evenings during fall and spring observing seasons. The Andreas Observatory next door may be open for tours and talks. Check the website for dates and special events.

 

Groups



Minnesota Astronomical Society
5 locations, Contact: (952) 467-2426
Local group of amateur astronomers has five observing sites and operates four observatories throughout Minnesota. Far from city lights with dozens of telescopes to see the stars, planets and many lovely deep sky objects! Join them free of charge. See the MAS website for a listing of their star parties. Monthly meetings are held the first Thursday of the month at the Fairview Community Center in Roseville. Check the MAS website for possible changes in location, guest speaker and topic. Meetings are free and open to the public.

Arrowhead Astronomical Society- Duluth, MN
A club for Duluth area amateur astronomers. This club is for anyone with an interest in the night sky; beginners to advanced amateurs are welcome.

Fargo-Moorhead Astronomy Club- Moorhead, MN
Amateur astronomy club helping people in the Fargo-Moorhead area learn more about astronomy through activities and meetings focused on community outreach.

Rochester Astronomy Club- Rochester, MN

Steele County Astronomical Society- Owatonna, MN
Active astronomy group in south central Minnesota. Monthly meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month; all are welcome. Other public viewing nights are announced in the Owatonna People Press Newspaper.

Visit the Night Sky Network for other observing and astronomy events in your region.
Nationwide coalition of amateur astronomy clubs bringing the science, technology and inspiration of NASA's missions to the general public.

 

Astronomy Resources


Podcasts

MPR Podcast "Jet Streaming" for December 17, 2008 featuring Parke Kunkle, one of the authors of the Astronomer Update newsletter.


Where to buy telescopes in the Twin Cities

Radio City - Mounds View, MN

Minnesota Astronomical Society Marketplace / Exchange


Recommended Books

"Kids Books of the Night Sky: by Love, Drake and Collins

"Night Watch" by Terence Dickson

"365 Starry Nights" by Chet Raymo

"The New Patterns in the Sky: Myths and Legends of the Stars" by Julius D. W. Staal


Astronomy Software

Eyes on the Solar System - Explore the cosmos from your computer using real NASA mission data.

Stellariym - Free, open source planetarium software for your computer.

Cartes du Ciel - Free program to draw sky charts.


Websites

Stargazing for Beginners - Sky and Telescope article on how to begin stargazing

Sky Maps - Download sky maps for each month

Astronomy Picture of the Day - Astronomy images with explanations

Astronomical Society of the Pacific - Astronomy Society with a lot of information

Heavens Above - Real time satellite & ISS orbital pass information, sky charts and more.

NASA's Planetary Photojournal - Images and information from various missions and instruments

Sky and Telescope Magazine - This week's sky at a glance, Interactive Sky Chart, articles and more.

SOHO: The Solar & Heliospheric Observatory - Sun, Corona, and Solar Wind site

Space Telescope Science Institute - Resource and programs

Spaceweather.com - Information about the Sun-Earth environment

Space Weather Now - Real-time space weather

Starchild - A learning environment for young astronomers