Minnesota Skies

  • Minnesota Skies: May 2021

    Published04/29/2021 , By Thaddeus LaCoursiere

  • Indigenous Astronomy & the Bell

    Published03/30/2021 , By Gretchen Zampogna

    When our planetarium team presents live shows in the Whitney and Elizabeth MacMillan Planetarium, the constellations that appear on the dome are typically the shapes and forms imagined by ancient Greeks and 16th century European astronomers. Why? Simply put, because that’s the knowledge typically taught in western education. The Bell…
  • Constellation Hunter: Hidden in the Spring Skies Part 2

    Published03/29/2021 , By Sarah Komperud

    Throughout the last year, we’ve embarked on a journey to find 39 northern hemisphere constellations in our Constellation Hunter series. Along the way we’ve found seasonal favorites such as Orion and Cygnus, the ever present circumpolar constellations like Ursa Major, and a few bonus constellations not on the official list…
  • Constellation Hunter: Hidden in the Spring Skies

    Published02/24/2021 , By Sarah Komperud

    Across the sky there are 88 total constellations, but not all of them are home to bright, easy to find stars. Back in the 17th century, Polish astronomer Johannes Hevelius introduced several smaller and dimmer constellations to fill in otherwise unassigned segments of the sky.
  • Minnesota Skies: February 2021

    Published01/19/2021 , By Sarah Komperud and Thaddeus LaCoursiere

    Orion the Hunter still strides across the evening sky as we continue to fight our way through our cloudy and snowy world. Known to them as the Wintermaker, the Ojibwe connected together the same stars as the Greeks and Romans and extended his arms to the stars Procyon (to the…
  • Minnesota Skies: January 2021

    Published12/21/2020 , By Sarah Komperud and Thaddeus LaCoursiere

    When you hear the name Aries, you might think of Ares—the Greek god of war with a similar sounding name (aka Mars)—or the horoscope sign associated with the birth dates March 20–April 19. In astronomy, Aries the ram is one of the 13 constellations of the zodiac, and is found…
  • Minnesota Skies: December 2020

    Published11/30/2020 , By Thaddeus LaCoursiere and Deane Morrison

    Despite the recent (and ongoing) (and upcoming) snow, it’s still fall and as you shake off your sugar rush from the Halloween (physically distanced) festivities. In celebration of the season’s snow (and to try to distract from it), head out and take a look at some of these deep sky…
  • Minnesota Skies: November 2020

    Published10/26/2020 , By Thaddeus LaCoursiere and Deane Morrison

    Despite the recent (and ongoing) (and upcoming) snow, it’s still fall and as you shake off your sugar rush from the Halloween (physically distanced) festivities. In celebration of the season’s snow (and to try to distract from it), head out and take a look at some of these deep sky…
  • 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…