I recently made a return visit to Medellín’s Planetarium located north of the city center in the Zona Norte.
The Planetarium, officially known as the Planetario Municipal Jesús Emilio Ramírez González, is a modern and beautiful planetarium that is definitely worth a stop if you are visiting the city.
The planetarium initially opened to the public in 1984 and was heralded as the most modern in existence in all of Latin America.
The planetarium was named after Jesús Emilio Ramírez González, a local priest who was dedicated to the sciences and who was considered the most eminent scientist in the country at the time of the planetarium’s opening.
The museum was completely renovated in 2006 to help keep up with the changing times, and in 2011 the planetarium began being administered by the adjacent Parque Explora which developed and expanded the educational components by incorporating new technologies and more interactive elements.
The highlight of the planetarium is the large 57-foot dome which features a massive screen that absolutely immerses you in the films.
Entrance to the planetarium currently costs 12,000 pesos ($5.75) which includes an assigned entry time for the films in the dome.
There were two short 30-minute or so films being featured during my visit, both of which are high quality productions that you would find at any planetarium back in the States, the only difference being that they are dubbed in Spanish (without subtitles).
The first film was Back to the Moon For Good about the Google Lunar XPrize and the potential for permanent settlements on the moon.
The second film was We Are Aliens! exploring the necessary elements of create and sustain life and the current efforts to identify living organisms on other planets.
Whether you speak Spanish or not, you’ll probably still enjoy the visual journey through space and the galaxy in this immersive experience.
The dome also shows periodic special events such as their recent shows celebrating the 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.
Either before or after the films you should also explore the two floors of interactive science exhibits and informative displays about our universe and galaxy.
The museum component is all very interactive and I found it to be quite interesting.
As a bonus, the exhibits also have an English translation to go alongside the Spanish, which isn’t always common in Medellín’s museum.
You can learn about the solar system, the chance of life in other galaxies, and play with demonstrations of various scientific phenomena from gravity, to the Coriolis effect, to what causes the Aurora Borealis, and much more.
I’m sure you’ll learn something new and interesting as you make your way through the various exhibits.
It’s quite easy to pass a few hours at the planetarium itself and you can also couple your visit with a stop into the Kaldi Kaffe located on the first floor for food and refreshments as you take in the activity of Parque de los Deseos, a large open-air plaza, just outside the windows.
One could easily fill a day or two exploring all that this part of town has to offer, including:
- Parque de los Deseos
- Jardín Botánico, the free botanical gardens
- Parque Explora, an interactive science museum and aquarium
- Parque Norte, a year-round amusement park–all of which are located adjacent to the Universidad de Antioquia
The planetarium is easily accessible by metro as it is located immediately adjacent to the Universidad metro station.
If you have any interest in space and the greater universe, you should definitely plan to make a trip to the Planetario de Medellín, it is one of the better museums in town and is certainly worth a visit.