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 and beautiful visuals. Each production will engage general audiences while also meeting PreK–12 curricular objectives. Museum educators host Q&A sessions following the show. Keep an eye out for original Bell productions like Minnesota in the Cosmos and One Giant Leap.
Our tradition of live presentations continues at the new Bell. Planetarium staff guide you through scientific phenomena or locations with real-time software, while providing commentary and answering audience questions.
Using this format, we can quickly respond to current events such as eclipses and space missions, drawing on productions from NASA, the Space Telescope Science Institute, U.S. Geologic Survey, National Weather Service, and other agencies. Plus, our planetarium software will be updated with the latest astronomy findings, including new exoplanet and galaxy discoveries.
See a show
As the only dedicated public planetarium in Minnesota, we are proud to have public shows every day (Tuesday–Sunday, 10 am and 5 pm). Shows and showtimes vary, but you can get the latest information online via the link below.