TLDR? The Medellín Planetarium is a place where you can learn about our solar system and outer space.
There are tons of fun activities in Medellín, but not all of them are rainy-day friendly. And, considering the weather in Medellín, it’s good to have a few activities on your radar that you can check out when the sun’s not out.
One that is a good pick for a rainy day is the Medellín Planetarium. Not only is it an indoor activity where you can get out of the rain, but it’s also a cool place to learn something more about our solar system.
Sound like something you might be interested in? Let’s take a look at the activities you can do here and what to expect.
A Brief Background of the Planetarium
The Jesús Emilio Ramírez González Planetarium was founded on October 10th 1984. Astronomers, disseminators, and fans of space sciences felt that Colombia needed a center for scientific outreach in astronomy and natural sciences.
With that goal in mind, these hobbyists and scientists teamed up with politicians of the day to make the planetarium a reality.
Since its creation, it has been transformed into a scientific visualization center that has the support of the Medellín mayor’s office, and scientific communities, among others. It’s now more than just a place to learn about the stars and planets, but also a place to take in some culture.
How to Get to the Planetarium
The planetarium is located in the northern part of the city, near the Parque de Los Deseos, Parque Explora, and the botanical garden.
There are a couple of ways to get there, but the easiest way to get there is by taking the A-line of the Medellín metro. Get off at the Universidad stop, and after taking a two-minute walk, you’ll arrive at the planetarium.
On the other hand, if you’ve rented a car while in Medellín, you can drive to the Parque de Los Deseos. Once you get to the area, look for the dome of the planetarium (it’s hard to miss).
The Medellín Planetarium has a parking lot for cars and motorcycles. It’ll cost you a few dollars to park there for the day, but it’s a super safe place to leave your vehicle while you check out the planetarium.
What to Know Before You Go to the Medellín Planetarium
The planetarium is open to the public most days of the week, although they’re closed the Tuesday after bank holidays that fall on a Monday. And, like many other activities around Medellín, they’re usually closed on Mondays (subject to change).
The entry fee depends on the plan you want to purchase. There are plans that grant you entry to just the planetarium as well as those that give you access to exclusive activities.
Regardless of the ticket type you have, you’ll get to tour the museum and see a planetarium show on the dome. Children under three years old can enter for free.
To buy your tickets go to the Parque Explora online ticket office or the physical ticket offices of the planetarium.
Inside the Medellín Planetarium, there are currently four exhibits:
These exhibitions have interactive displays that will help you understand the characteristics of the planets and other celestial bodies. This is pretty cool, in my opinion, because unless you’re a rocket scientist, some of the concepts of outer space can go a bit over your head.
A few of the things you can learn about in the museum include your relative weight in the different planets of our solar system, the formation of lightning, and more.
You can also take guided tours if you want a bit more insight into the museum. Most of the guides are fellows and volunteers from places like the University of Antioquia. This is pretty cool because they tend to be very well-versed in what they’re showing you.
The Planetary Dome
Once you’re done wandering through the museum, you can head over to the planetary dome. The planetary dome consists of a 15-meter-diameter screen that projects a fisheye image with an opening of 160° and a circumference of 360°.
The planetarium shows movies and sound and light shows related to different themes about the universe. They usually last approximately half an hour, and most are aimed at a family audience.
Available content changes throughout the year, however, so you’ll want to check the website to make sure you don’t miss anything. The dome has a capacity for 110 people per show, so they fill up fast, too.
Since 2022, the planetarium has put on temporary shows. A few examples include immersive music video experiences featuring music from Pink Floyd or David Bowie.
There are family shows as well as shows only for adults. In the latter, they give you a beer with your entrance fee, so you can sip on that while you watch the show. You can only purchase tickets for these shows online.
The planetarium also has a public library with a content bank on astronomy, biology, physics, geology, geography, and mathematics, among others. You’ll even find science fiction books and science magazines.
The library also offers free internet access. So, if you want to get some work done, this might be a good quiet place to go.
Just like the planetarium, the library closes on Colombian public holidays. However, it does have a different schedule than the planetarium museum itself, so you might want to look online to check the time.
Courses and Workshops
Throughout the year, the Medellín Planetarium programs a large catalog of courses and workshops. These classes are related to current astronomy, science education, and the relationship between the arts and space, among other topics relevant to the planetarium.
The class schedule changes weekly, so you should keep an eye on the planetarium’s website and social media. The workshops are held in person at the planetarium or via YouTube or Zoom meetings.
When the weather allows it, most of the free astronomy-themed workshops or talks end with observing the sky through telescopes. These are first-come-first-serve workshops, so I’d recommend going early to secure your spot.
Spend a Day Discovering the Wonders of the Universe
The Medellín Planetarium is an unmissable place if you want to learn a bit more about space. Just remember that the schedule of activities is constantly changing, so check the website before planning your visit to the planetarium.
As long as you do that, you’ll be all set for an amazing time at the planetarium.
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