Walk around the moon at the Bell Museum

Art installation shows satellite image of even the 'dark side'

Sloane Martin
May 21, 2019 - 3:25 pm

The moon is on display inside the lobby of the University of Minnesota's Bell Museum.

An orb in the museum's lobby, 23 feet in diameter hanging from the ceiling, is an art installation. On it is scientific imagery of the moon from NASA taken by satellite, allowing visitors to take a walk around the moon, even the side not visible from earth. After dark it glows from within for a striking, realistic scene.

The exhibit recognizes the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, when the first men, Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, walked on the moon.

"And now there's a lot of talk about going back to the moon and other countries are getting involved, and so I think we're pushing the frontiers of space flight now thinking about where we want to go next," Holly Menninger, the museum's Director of Public Engagement & Science Learning, said. "So we can use the Apollo anniversary to commemorate what has happened before but also to look ahead to the future and inspire the next generation of space travelers." 

Museum officials say they hope it inspires local artists and writers. On the preview night Monday, several people brought sketch pads. Wednesday evenings they'll keep the museum open until 10 p.m. for special events. 

Along with tours led by students studying astrophysics and more, there will be talks on the moon's affect on wildlife behavior and its influence on Native cultures, as well as a writing workshop.

Find more information here.

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