Astronomy & Space
Tour the cosmos and beyond
To us Earth seems huge. But in the cosmic scheme of things, our home is tiny—a mere speck in space.
Earth is just one planet orbiting an average star, the Sun, which is just one of more than 100 billion stars in our Milky Way galaxy. And the Milky Way is merely one galaxy out of a trillion in the known universe. Yet Earth stands out. Of all the places we’ve explored, Earth is the only one we’ve found so far that is supporting life.
Join us in exploring our universe.
Whitney and Elizabeth MacMillan Planetarium
Immerse yourself in a journey through space and time in our awesome 120 seat planetarium—a community resource that has been missing in the Twin Cities since 2002. From the comfort of a plush reclining seat, you’ll feel like you’re flying through Earth’s atmosphere to the far reaches of the universe, delving inside plant life and the human body, or swimming the Great Lakes.
A 16-meter aluminum dome surrounds you in our new digital theater, offering larger-than-life views in front, above, and behind. Also, the dome is constructed using the latest “seamless” technology, making it the first of its kind in the world! Scientific data merges with animations and video to create crisp and stunning imagery. 5.1 digital surround sound audio and theatrical lighting provide the finishing touches. Guests can enjoy two types of planetarium experiences:
Grounded in current science issues, our featured productions combine fast-paced storytelling with beautiful visuals. Each of our productions not only engages all audiences, but they also meet Minnesota preK–12 curricular objectives. Following each production, planetarium educators host a live Q&A session.
Keep an eye out for original Bell productions like Mysteries of Your Brain and Minnesota in the Cosmos!
Our tradition of live programs continues at the Bell. Planetarium educators use real time software to create immersive visuals that highlight the topics they’re discussing with the audience.
In our live shows you can explore everything from the first satellite in space to the future journey to Mars, to the vast expanse of our universe. Regular updates to the planetarium software allows our planetarium educators to talk about current happenings in science with illustrative visuals, such as newly discovered exoplanets and gravity waves.
See a show
As the only dedicated public planetarium in Minnesota, we are proud to have public shows every day (Wednesday–Sunday, 10am to 4pm). Shows and showtimes vary, but you can get the latest information online via the link below.