Exploring Our Place in the Universe 

What exactly is considered star material?

By: Hannah Olund


A quick trip to the Bell Museum in St. Paul will send one hurtling through space and time, discovering everything from the big bang to the enormous size of a mammoth tooth, to all the different species that natively inhabit Minnesota forests. The Bell Museum was founded in 1872 and has since inspired and educated everyone who has walked through its doors. The Bell Museum was recently renovated and reopened this year with a brand-new look. Its new features include permanent galleries, a Touch and See Lab, Learning Landscape, and, most notably, the Whitney and Elizabeth MacMillan Planetarium.


In the 120-seat planetarium, you can fly through space, explore current science issues, and experience live presentations put on by the museum’s staff. There are eight unique showings every day that transform the audience’s surroundings into a magnificent view of the entire universe. Whichever show you choose to go experience, your pre-existing ideas will be challenged, confirmed, and completely re-created. Be sure to get there on time because the doors close and lock at showtime. 


Illustration by Selena Philaphandeth

Illustration by Selena Philaphandeth

Along with the planetarium, you can explore the other galleries at the Bell Museum. The tour begins with the big bang. From there, you travel from the beginning of the universe all the way to the Earth we know today. Along the way, you learn the process of a star exploding, what is required for a planet to be considered an exoplanet, and the compounds in the universe that make up every living thing—including you! At the next exhibit, you’ll travel back in time and meet a gigantic mammoth. You can explore tons of different species on display for everyone. After the Ice Age, the gallery shows Minnesota through time. The changing of the landscape, climate, and species are all explained. Wherever your curiosity takes you, the Planetarium offers something new and excitinfor everyone.  

Wake Mag