Astronomy

  • Minnesota Skies: October 2020

    Published09/25/2020 , By Deane Morrison and Thaddeus

    October begins and ends with a full Moon. The first rises the evening of October 1, only about three hours past the exact moment of fullness. Following it into the eastern sky is Mars, now too bright to be washed out by any lunar luster. Over to the south, brilliant…
  • Minnesota Skies: September 2020

    Published08/28/2020

    Traditionally, Indigenous people keenly observed celestial objects, especially the Moon, and kept track of the passing of time. Each full Moon marked the passing of one month and reflected the “moon time” of women (menstruation). Seasonal activities that were culturally significant each month became the name of each month. Some…
  • Minnesota Skies: August 2020

    Published07/30/2020

    Traditionally, Indigenous people keenly observed celestial objects, especially the Moon, and kept track of the passing of time. Each full Moon marked the passing of one month and reflected the “moon time” of women (menstruation). Seasonal activities that were culturally significant each month became the name of each month. Some…
  • Minnesota Skies: July 2020

    Published06/30/2020 , By Deane Morrison, Thaddeus LaCoursiere & Sarah Komperud

    This month Jupiter and Saturn dominate the evening sky, while Venus climbs into prominence as a predawn planet.
  • City Stardust: Micrometeorites in Our Own Backyards

    Published06/09/2020

    Micrometeorites are some of the oldest matter that exists. Until recently, scientists searched for them only in remote places, such as the Antarctic, where pristine conditions ensured that these mineral specks really came from space. Experts assumed that it would be impossible to find micrometeorites in inhabited areas, where natural…
  • Minnesota Skies: June 2020

    Published05/27/2020 , By Deane Morrison, Thaddeus LaCoursiere & Sarah Komperud

    Venus has just left the evening sky, and now Jupiter and Saturn are moving in. By mid-month, both will be up in the southeast before midnight. Jupiter, by far the brighter planet, shines west of Saturn and leads the ringed planet across the night sky.
  • Minnesota Skies: May 2020

    Published04/30/2020 , By Deane Morrison, Thaddeus LaCoursiere & Sarah Komperud

    In May we lose the two brightest lights in the evening sky: Venus and Sirius, the brightest of stars. Sirius begins the month very low in the southwest and drops out of sight by mid-month. In the last two weeks of May, most of the other bright winter stars also…
  • Social Distancing with the Stars!

    Published04/23/2020 , By Sarah Komperud, planetarium programs coordinator

    Social distancing didn’t stop our Skynet Scholars this spring. The program moved online for its last two sessions in April as the students created images they took through world. M100 – Spiral Galaxy-class, research-grade telescopes from around the globe.
  • Curious About: Juno

    Published04/20/2020 , By Thaddeus LaCoursiere, planetarium educator

    Head outside in the predawn hours and look in the sky low to the southeast. There you can spot the largest and first planet to form in our solar system: Jupiter. With binoculars or a telescope, you can see bright moons orbiting around Jupiter; stripes and bands in its atmosphere;…
  • A Successful Failure: A Brief History of the Apollo 13 Mission

    Published04/17/2020 , By Kaitlin Ehret, planetarium outreach educator

    With ingenuity, resilience, and perseverance, everyone involved in the Apollo 13 mission triumphed against immense odds. Today marks the 50th anniversary of the safe return of those three astronauts. Join us this as we take a look at the challenges of the mission and these lessons from the past can…