Astronomy

  • 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…
  • 30th Anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope

    Published04/16/2020

    For thirty years, the Hubble Space Telescope has provided us with discovery and awe-inspiring images from the cosmos. On April 24th, NASA will celebrate the anniversary of Hubble’s launch aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery by releasing a stunning new image yet to be seen by the public. Mark your calendars…
  • Curious About: Cassiopeia

    Published04/09/2020 , By Kaitlin Ehret, planetarium outreach educator

    If you go outside on a clear night and look up, you’ll likely recognize a few shapes. The big dipper (Ursa Major) is a popular one here in Minnesota. Not too far away from it is a constellation with a distinctive shape—Cassiopeia.
  • Minnesota Skies: April 2020

    Published03/31/2020 , By Deane Morrison, Thaddeus LaCoursiere & Sarah Komperud

    April opens with spectacular views of planets in both the morning and evening skies. Early risers who look to the southeast will see Jupiter, brilliant in the predawn darkness. Off to the east of Jupiter, red Mars hangs right below golden Saturn.
  • Minnesota Skies: March 2020

    Published02/20/2020 , By Deane Morrison, Thaddeus LaCoursiere & Sarah Komperud

    In March, the action in the predawn sky really picks up. The month opens with Mars, Jupiter and Saturn forming a straight line, in that order from right to left, above the southeastern horizon. On the 4th, the three planets are spaced almost evenly apart.
  • Meet the Bell’s Planetarium Outreach Educator

    Published02/19/2020

    Katilin Ehret first worked at the Bell Museum as a student, and is currently our planetarium outreach educator.
  • Q & A With Sheena Jimmick

    Published02/17/2020

    Sheena Jimmick, a recent College of Science and Engineering graduate and Bell volunteer, worked this winter to develop an interactive gallery cart focused on the engineering evolution of telescope technology from 470 BC to the present.
  • Flying on Other Worlds

    Published02/13/2020

    Scott McWilliams, a senior in the University of Minnesota Twin Cities College of Science and Engineering program, has worked in the Whitney and Elizabeth MacMillan Planetarium since May 2018. This semester he had the opportunity to design his own show for the dome, which he chose to focus on what…
  • Minnesota Skies: February 2020

    Published01/30/2020 , By Deane Morrison, Thaddeus LaCoursiere & Sarah Komperud

    A dazzling evening “star,” Venus comes out in twilight and sticks around long enough to outshine all the real stars against a dark sky.