Have you ever seen a moon so big it made your breath stop for a second? The kind of moon that fills your heart with hope, sadness, love, and contemplation all at once? The Bell Museum nods to that kind of wonder-filled moon that quickens your blood with “Museum of the Moon.”
Free with admission
The installation was created by U.K. artist Luke Jerram, and it's been traveling to museums around the world since 2016. Its short stay in Minnesota is part of the Bell's yearlong remembrance of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing. From now until June 9, Jerram's giant inflatable moon hangs in the Bell's main lobby space, and can be viewed during museum hours and during special after hours events.
The moon looks remarkably impressive and grand in daylight, and even better after dark. As the sun sets through the enormous windows of the Bell, the spellbinding moons glows alluringly.
Jerram used a high-resolution image of the moon, created by the Astrogeology Science Centre, to create the sculpture. The source image utilized NASA satellite imagery, and data from the Lunar Reconnaissance orbiter camera launched by satellite in 2010 (and still in orbit). The visual manifestation of the moon is accompanied by a surround-sound composition created by BAFTA- and Ivor Novello-winning composer Dan Jones.
Though it has a smooth surface, the installation gives the appearance of craters and texture. In total, the sculpture is a seven meter sphere, which approximates to a 1:500,000 scale.
It’s a spectacle that you should definitely see while it's here for the anniversary of the Apollo 10 mission, which orbited the moon May 18-26, 1969 prior to the first moon landing.
After-hours festivities kick off this Wednesday. In addition to the main attraction, University of Minnesota researchers Tom Gable and Joseph Bump from the Voyageurs Wolf Project will share secrets about wolves. On May 29, Bell Museum resident artist and poet Erin Sharkey leads a moon-related writing workshop, and on June 5, University of Minnesota Dakota language specialist Čhaŋtémaza (Neil McKay) and Minneapolis Public Schools' Indigenous linguist Kaagegaabaw (James Vukelich) share indigenous perspectives about the moon.
There's also a moon yoga class on June 1, and a family-friendly Super Moon Pajama Party later that day for adults, teens, and kids.