Introduction: Moons of the Solar System

Good afternoon! It is getting close to sunset in our planetarium, but before it gets dark, let’s find both the Sun and Moon in the sky right now. It is a common misconception that the Sun and Moon are never up at the same time, but in fact, they often are. Can you see the […]

Observing Phases of the Moon

Even though the Sun is now below the horizon, we know about where it is because we saw where it just set. [Point out place on horizon where the Sun set.] We can still see the Moon. How would you describe the shape of the Moon right now?   [Crescent, banana, finger nail clipping.]  If we […]

Explaining the Phases of the Moon

VISUAL 1 (still): Full MoonPut up a large still image graphic of the Full Moon, for use with a Moon phase story.  Optional: Tell Egyptian story of the giant pig eating the Moon.Practically every culture throughout human history has come up with a different explanation in answer to that question. One rather interesting theory was […]

The Moon Through a Telescope

So far, we have observed the Moon just as our ancestors did, thousands of years ago. About 400 years ago, telescopes were invented and exciting new views of the Moon were possible. Let’s see how our Moon looks through a telescope. VISUAL 4 (still): Moon Through a Telescope Pretend we are looking through the eyepiece of […]

The Galilean Moons of Jupiter

Galileo also looked at Jupiter. DIGITAL EFFECT: Telescopic JupiterScale the Mars image down, and scale up a modest telescopic view of Jupiter with the four Galilean moons visible.  VISUAL 6 (still): Jupiter and 4 Moons He saw the planet Jupiter with four small objects in a line near it. Galileo thought the objects were stars, […]

Tour of Moons

We are not completely satisfied to look at moons in our Solar System through telescopes. Let’s take a spaceship ride to some of the planets in our Solar System to get close-up views of their moons. While this is an imaginary spaceship ride, we will view real images transmitted to Earth by Viking and Voyager […]

Conclusion: Moons of the Solar System

We land you now back at __________________ Planetarium.[Insert image of your home planetarium here.] We hope you enjoyed your tour of the moons of the Solar System. You are invited to come back to our planetarium sometime to see our other planetarium shows. VISUAL 56 (still): Your Planetarium or School Alternate ending:Rather than bring the audience […]

Materials for Moons of the Solar System

1. Diurnal Motion and Moon Phases Your planetarium must have the capabilities of diurnal motion and Moon phases with proper position relative to an image of the Sun.  2. Sun-Moon Simulator (a) In the center (or front) of the planetarium, mount a short unfrosted tubular light bulb (about 25 to 40 watts) for simulating the […]

Alternative Moon Phase Movies

This page shows the movies modeling Moon phases that were created as an alternative to leading the live Moon phase modeling activity in the PASS Moons of the Solar System planetarium show. The live activity is far preferable, if at all possible. Movies created by Angela Miller, directed by Alan Gould. Download all the videos on […]

Introduction: Strange Planets

Dim house lights. DIGITAL EFFECT: Go To NightBring out stars.Fade music.  Hello, and welcome to the ________ Planetarium. Our program is called Strange Planets.But of course, strange is in the eye of the beholder.Any planet might seem strange. We have eight planets in the Solar System, all very different and each strange in its own way.We know at least […]