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 […]

Shuttle Landing

Now we’ll see how the Space Shuttle lands. First we’ll take a look at the cockpit, or the main control center, of the shuttle. VISUAL 14 (movie): Cockpit Watch the window, and you might see something interesting happening. Indicate window as it begins to glow. The outside glows red because everything heats up as the […]

Extravehicular Activity (EVA)

VISUAL 13 (movie): EVAAstronauts also go outside the Space Shuttle to do work. When they do this, they must wear special space suits. There are two reasons why.  Who can tell me what they are? [So they can breathe and so they can stay at the right temperature.] These space suits have heating and cooling […]


It’s not all fun and games in space. Usually, there’s a lot of work to be done. One of the important things that the Space Shuttle is used for is to carry satellites into space and release them into orbit around the Earth. Satellites are machines that orbit the Earth and are used for taking […]


When the Space Shuttle is orbiting the Earth, the astronauts inside experience a condition known as weightlessness. They float around and never need to stand on the floor. Here’s what it looks like. VISUAL 8 (movie): Floating Astronauts Can you tell which way is up and which way is down? [No.] When you’re floating in space, […]

Far Away Things Look Small

Most things in the sky are very very far away from us.Let me introduce you to this little cardboard person, Elvin. Show the cardboard cutout person. You can make up any names you want. [If you have the other figure hidden:]This person has a little cardboard friend, Sherbin—let me go get Sherbin for you. Will one […]

A Magnetic Earth Around A Magnetic Sun

VISUAL 19 (still): Symmetric Magnetic Field Idled around Earth [Fade off Symmetric Magnetic Field.] The Sun is a magnetic star. And Earth is a magnetic planet! VISUAL 20 (movie): Magnetic Field of the Earth, Field Detection[Show and play the video that accompanies the interactive Magnetic Fields activity]. DIGITAL EFFECT: Magnetic MoviePause and hide the video. […]

Differential Rotation

VISUAL 12 (still): Intensitygram of Sun[Show, in sequence, an intensity-gram of the Sun.] We can learn more from sunspots by looking at images different than the type we see here. VISUAL 13 (still): Magnetogram of Sun This is the same Sun, but this is a magnetogram, showing the Sun’s magnetic intensity. You can see the […]