Motion of the Stars

In Spring and Summer, when the Dipper is already overhead, advance diurnal motion only until the Dipper is aligned with the constellation outlines you have prepared, then go directly to “Versions of the Big Dipper.” Next return to this section, followed by the “Conclusion.” In Winter and Fall, follow the normal order: “Motion of the […]

Versions of the Big Dipper

(Optional) It is easy to see the Big Dipper as just that, a big dipper or pot; and indeed, to some people in southern France, this group of stars was the Casserole, or sauce pan. VISUAL 1 (still): Casserole Outline Cultures all over Earth have names and stories about the stars. Usually, these stories are […]

Making Up Constellations

(Optional) This activity is especially good for elementary school children. Take a look around the sky and see if you can find a group of stars that looks like some kind of animal, person, or thing. Raise your hand if you have an idea that you want to tell us about. Allow three or four […]

Using a Sky Map

Turn up orange seat lights (or atmosphere and the Sun). Pass out one map to each participant. In some planetariums, it may be more convenient to hand out maps as people enter. Introduce the activity as follows: These are maps of the sky which we will use to identify some of the major constellations that […]