Astronomy Activities & Resources


  • A Galaxy Full of Black Holes (PowerPoint & suggested script)

    A Galaxy Full of Black Holes (PowerPoint & suggested script)

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Answer common questions asked by the public: What happens to a spaceship that falls into a black hole? Will the black holes in our Galaxy eventually suck up everything in it - a cosmic vacuum cleaner? What would happen to Earth if the Sun was repla...

  • A Universe of Galaxies Activity

    A Universe of Galaxies Activity

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Use this model of the Milky Way and other galaxies to indicate relative distances to other galaxies. Below you will find both English and Metric versions.

  • A Universe Without Supernovae

    A Universe Without Supernovae

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Use this active game to illustrate the value of supernovae in the universe. Visitors discover that almost all elements that make up the Earth and all its living things were made inside stars that go supernova. Without supernovae to disperse these e...

  • Anyone Out There? Activity and PowerPoint

    Anyone Out There? Activity and PowerPoint

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    In this presentation of the Drake Equation, each of the factors contributing to the likelihood of intelligent life in our galaxy is reviewed. Can be made interactive, with participants discussing 6 questions in groups. Starting with all of the stars ...

  • Are All the Stars Like Our Sun? (PowerPoint)

    Are All the Stars Like Our Sun? (PowerPoint)

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    PowerPoint and suggested script on "Sun-like" Stars; discusses what kind of stars we can see with the unaided eye and which stars are like our Sun. You might be surprised!

  • Asteroid Hunters Activity

    Asteroid Hunters Activity

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

    Find asteroids in a star field and discover why astronomers are locating even more asteroids using infrared detectors


  • Astronomy Behind the Headlines

    Astronomy Behind the Headlines


  • Astronomy Lecture Podcasts

    Astronomy Lecture Podcasts

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    A variety of non-technical lectures by noted astronomers. Some examples: Dr. Jeff Moore of NASA Ames Research Center on the New Horizons Mission; Dr. David Morrison on Asteroid Impacts and Evolution; Dr. Dana Backman of the SETI Institute and Astron...

  • Banner: Earth Craters and Moon Map

    Banner: Earth Craters and Moon Map

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Artwork for two-sided banner: one side shows a one-meter Earth with the locations of craters and compares Earth to the sizes of the larger asteroids. The other side is a one-meter map of the Moon.

  • Banner: Earth Timeline Activity and Watery Worlds

    Banner: Earth Timeline Activity and Watery Worlds

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

    Guess when various kinds of organisms first developed in the history o Earth. Then reveal actual timeline of life. The back of this banner has an overview of the watery worlds of our Solar System


  • Banner: Exploring Our Solar System

    Banner: Exploring Our Solar System

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

    What planets can we see in the night sky? Why can't we see all the planets? Where has NASA explored in the Solar System?


  • Banner: Lives of Stars / Table of Elements

    Banner: Lives of Stars / Table of Elements

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Artwork for reproducing the Lives of Stars Diagram and Table of the Elements Diagram from the SUPERNOVA! ToolKit

  • Banner: Our star: The Sun

    Banner: Our star: The Sun

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Artwork for making a Banner with a one-meter Sun. Take this to a local print shop and create a vinyl banner for use with the Scaling the Solar System activity. This is a large file.

  • Black Hole Explorer Board Game

    Black Hole Explorer Board Game

    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Game board and cards for Black Hole Explorer Board Game

  • Black Hole Survival ToolKit Manual

    Black Hole Survival ToolKit Manual

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    The ToolKit consists of hands-on activities and resources that are designed to address gravity in general and black holes in particular as an extreme form of gravity. Activities are also listed separately on the Resource Download Site. Search using k...

  • Black Holes: No Escape Activity

    Black Holes: No Escape Activity

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Using a bucket with stretchy fabric stretched over it, allow visitors to experiment with marbles and weights to discover some basics about gravity and black holes. Discuss an Earth-mass black hole and "center of mass"; orbit marbles around black ho...

  • Cook Up a Comet

    Cook Up a Comet

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

    Using dry ice and simple household materials, this comet concoction is a big hit with kids and adults alike.


  • Cosmic Times Newspapers, Posters and Activity Guides

    Cosmic Times Newspapers, Posters and Activity Guides

    • Target Audience
    • Teen, Adult

    The Cosmic Times presents the history of our understanding of the nature of the universe through the 20th and early 21st centuries.


  • Craters on the Earth and Moon

    Craters on the Earth and Moon

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Make craters on models of the Moon and Earth. Investigate the properties of Earth that hide past cratering events movement of the crust, erosion, water, and a protective atmosphere.

  • Does the Moon Rotate? Activity

    Does the Moon Rotate? Activity

    • Daytime Event
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Make a 3 dimensional model of the Earth and Moon. Using the Sun's light, discover that the Moon does rotate, in the same amount of time it takes to make one orbit.
    Find out more with the additional Moon activities below.

  • Essay: How Fast Are You Moving When You Are Sitting Still?

    Essay: How Fast Are You Moving When You Are Sitting Still?

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Essay by Andrew Fraknoi

  • Explore the Sun cards

    Explore the Sun cards

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

    These 11 cards can be used at a solar telescope, for visitors waiting in line, or as a stand-alone station.


  • Explorers

    Explorers' Guide to the Solar System (PowerPoint)

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    NASA's exploration of the Solar System: Exploring other worlds in our Solar System stretches our minds and excites our imaginations like nothing else. It's the only way to answer some of our deepest questions.
    PowerPoint and suggested script.

  • Exploring Black Holes and Gravity

    Exploring Black Holes and Gravity

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Discover how not to fall into a black hole and imagine what would happen if our Sun were replaced with a black hole. Using a bucket with stretchy fabric over it, allow visitors to experiment with marbles and weights to discover some basics about gr...

  • Exploring Strange New Worlds

    Exploring Strange New Worlds

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Your visitors become teams of scientists living on a planet orbiting a distant star. They are on the threshold of exploring their own planetary system for the first time. With planets you have created, teams explore the planets using the methods NA...

  • Glass and Mirrors ToolKit: An Inside Look at Telescopes

    Glass and Mirrors ToolKit: An Inside Look at Telescopes

    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

    Use these demonstrations to answer questions that the public may have about how telescopes work. Show how both a reflector and a refractor work.


  • Google: Scale of the Solar System

    Google: Scale of the Solar System

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Keith Enevoldsen's Think Zone has created a service that allowed you to create a scale model of the solar system superimposed on a Google map/satellite image, with the sun at the address you entered. You can move the planets and their labels around...

  • Gravity and Falling

    Gravity and Falling

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Using a bucket with stretchy fabric stretched over it, allow visitors to experiment with marbles and weights to discover some basics about gravity.

  • Gravity Assist Activity from Space Place

    Gravity Assist Activity from Space Place

    • Target Audience
    • Adult
    Your visitors might ask about how NASA uses gravity assists to add speed to a spacecraft. The Space Place provides a helpful description and activity to illustrate the process.

  • HD Videos from the Hidden Universe

    HD Videos from the Hidden Universe

    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    This video series showcases some of the most exciting discoveries in infrared astronomy from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Looking beyond the visible spectrum of light, Spitzer can see a whole new universe of dust and stars hidden from our Earth-bo...

  • Heads Up! It

    Heads Up! It's a Meteor Shower Handout

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Share the wonders of meteor showers with this handout that gives visitors tips for observing, illustrates where they come from and gives a calendar of the major meteor showers. Add club events or information to the back so visitors know where to find...

  • How Do We Find Planets Around Other Stars? (Wobble Activity)

    How Do We Find Planets Around Other Stars? (Wobble Activity)

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    This activity describes techniques scientists use to find planets orbiting other stars, including the wobble method and transits.

  • How Far Can You See? - Dr. Phil Plait article

    How Far Can You See? - Dr. Phil Plait article

    • Target Audience
    • Adult
    "How Far Can You See?" by Phil Plait is from Night Sky, September-October 2004.

  • How Telescopes Changed our Understanding of the Universe: PowerPoint

    How Telescopes Changed our Understanding of the Universe: PowerPoint

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

  • It

    It's all Done with Mirrors

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    These simple demonstrations are a great way to illustrate the path of light as it reflects off of mirrors and how this is used in telescopes.

  • Kepler Mission: The Search for Earth-sized Planets: PowerPoint -Updated!

    Kepler Mission: The Search for Earth-sized Planets: PowerPoint -Updated!

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    PowerPoint explaining NASA's Kepler Mission to search for transiting planets orbiting in the habitable zone of Sun-like stars.

  • Keys to the Rainbow

    Keys to the Rainbow

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Discover how we learn about stars and the atmospheres of exoplanets by examining the light in greater detail. Match up the spectra of stars and planets with their atmospheric ingredients. In particular, what ingredients are we looking for in plan...

  • Let

    Let's Make A Supernova!

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Participants imagine themselves inside a large star at the end of its life, just as it is about to go supernova. Learn what happens in the core of a star when it runs out of fuel. This is a very active, engaging activity that your audience will rem...

  • Life in the Extreme Activity

    Life in the Extreme Activity

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Participants are each given one of 14 examples of extremophiles organisms found in some of the toughest conditions on Earth. They sort themselves into groups according to the various preferences of their organisms. Finally, they discover that all k...

  • Life in the Universe ToolKit Manual

    Life in the Universe ToolKit Manual

    Aliens are a favorite topic for many visitors to public astronomy events. This ToolKit is designed to take science fiction questions and direct them toward scientific facts and exciting new discoveries being made in the search for life outside Earth....

  • Lives of Stars

    Lives of Stars

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Allow visitors to discover the lifecycle of stars and when supernovae happen with this activity and handout. Many people think the different stages in the life of a star are actually different types of stars, rather than just stages in the life of ...

  • Magnetic Connection Activity

    Magnetic Connection Activity

    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Introduce the connection between the Sun's magnetic activity and Earth's magnetic field with this activity for small groups. Also show how solar storms are generated from the Sun's magnetic activity and how solar storms interact with Earth's magneti...

  • Magnification vs. Resolution

    Magnification vs. Resolution

    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Has anyone ever asked you (or have you ever wondered) if you could see the flag on the Moon with a telescope? Want to know what the 25X magnification on that telescope means? Find out why size matters with telescopes when it comes to light collecting...

  • Making the Photon Connection by James Mullaney

    Making the Photon Connection by James Mullaney

    • Target Audience
    • Adult

    This is an article about the importance of directly experiencing the night sky. From Sky & Telescope, June 1994


  • Meteorite or MeteorWrong?

    Meteorite or MeteorWrong?

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Learn all about meteorites with this hands-on activity: where they come from, how they got here, and what they are made of. Compare the characteristics of meteorites and Earth rocks.

  • NASA UNIVERSE DISCOVERY GUIDES: January through June

    NASA UNIVERSE DISCOVERY GUIDES: January through June

    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Teen, Adult

  • NASA UNIVERSE DISCOVERY GUIDES: July through December

    NASA UNIVERSE DISCOVERY GUIDES: July through December

    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Teen, Adult

  • Night Sky Network Features and Benefits

    Night Sky Network Features and Benefits

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Adult

    The Night Sky Network offers many benefits to member clubs, including club management tools, publicity, materials, and much more!


  • Nuclear Fusion

    Nuclear Fusion

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    This simple and engaging activity explains nuclear fusion and how radiation is generated by stars, using marshmallows as a model.

  • Observing Cards for star parties

    Observing Cards for star parties

    • Nighttime Event
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    The PlanetQuest Observing Cards are designed to give telescope operators and other night Sky Interpreters a new way of explaining the night sky. Relating common observing objects to our search for exoplanets makes these spectacular sights more unders...

  • Orion Nebula Unveiled - PowerPoint & Script

    Orion Nebula Unveiled - PowerPoint & Script

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Adult
    Tour the Orion Nebula with this PowerPoint and script for use at your outreach or club events. Edit as needed.

  • Our Galaxy Our Universe Full ToolKit Manual

    Our Galaxy Our Universe Full ToolKit Manual

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

  • Our Magnetic Sun ToolKit Manual

    Our Magnetic Sun ToolKit Manual

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    This ToolKit provides activities and demonstrations that explore the Sun and its powerful magnetic fields, how these fields generate the features we observe, and how the Sun's magnetic activity affects our way of life and technologies here on Earth. ...

  • Our Place in Our Galaxy (PowerPoint)

    Our Place in Our Galaxy (PowerPoint)

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    PowerPoint and suggested script/activities for presenting a scale model of the Solar System compared to our Galaxy. Often referred to as the "Birdseed Galaxy" presentation.

  • Our Place in Our Galaxy Activity

    Our Place in Our Galaxy Activity

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Mentally construct a model of our place in the Milky Way Galaxy and the distribution of stars, with a quarter coin and some birdseed. This is a great introduction to the distances of objects your visitors will view in the telescopes and can be ada...

  • Planetary Postcards

    Planetary Postcards

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    These colorful Post Cards are used to illustrate what is known about planets orbiting other stars. Beautiful illustrations by artist Lynette Cook.

  • PlanetQuest Outreach Toolkit Manual

    PlanetQuest Outreach Toolkit Manual

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    PlantQuest's complete manual provides hands-on activities and observing using telescopes to learn about discovering planets orbiting other stars.
    Links to the training videos below show these activities in action.

  • Pocket Solar System

    Pocket Solar System

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

    Using a strip of paper, construct a quick scale model of the distances between the orbits of the planets, the Asteroid Belt, and Pluto as part of the Kuiper Belt.


  • PowerPoint: PlanetQuest: Our Changing Worlds View - Updated!

    PowerPoint: PlanetQuest: Our Changing Worlds View - Updated!

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    The Our Changing Worlds View PowerPoint describing the search for planets around other stars and the NASA missions. Includes suggested script. Updated Sept 2013.

  • Protection from Ultraviolet

    Protection from Ultraviolet

    • Daytime Event
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Explore ultraviolet (UV) light and how it can be blocked by different materials in this open-ended activity great for even the youngest visitors. Also understand ways we can protect ourselves from the Sun's harmful rays.

  • Publicity Flyer: Facebook and Twitter

    Publicity Flyer: Facebook and Twitter

    Pass this flyer out at events so your visitors can keep up with what's going on in the night (and day) sky. It's great for clubs who don't have social media, and if your club does have social media, you can add your information to the flyer. There ...

  • Ready to Observe

    Ready to Observe

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Help the visitor at the scope understand why they see what they see. Learn about how the eye works, how to use the most powerful part of the eye to see more detail, and what to expect out of an experience observing through a telescope.

  • Resource Guide to the Moon for Educators

    Resource Guide to the Moon for Educators

    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

    An annotated list of resources for helping students and the public to understand and appreciate the Moon is now available on the web site of the nonprofit Astronomical Society of the Pacific.


  • Scaling the Asteroid Belt

    Scaling the Asteroid Belt

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Explore the Asteroid Belt and learn some surprising truths about just how difficult it would be to navigate.

  • Shadows & Silhouettes ToolKit Manual

    Shadows & Silhouettes ToolKit Manual

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Full manual for the Shadows & Silhouettes ToolKit. Hands-on activities on Moon phases, lunar and solar eclipses, transits, and Venus phases. Features NASA's Kepler Mission and provides activities to explore searching for planets orbiting in the hab...

  • Sharing the Universe Videos

    Sharing the Universe Videos

    • Target Audience
    • Adult
    Many amateur astronomers love sharing the universe with the public. Whether you're just getting started or are an old pro, there are many ways to make your time with the public more enjoyable. We've addressed some common questions amateurs have about...

  • Skywatcher

    Skywatcher's Guide to the Moon

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Use this Moon Map Guide to identify features on the Moon. Learn what the light and dark areas are and what created the craters. Find out where the astronauts landed and what fills the "seas".

  • Solar System Images from NASA!

    Solar System Images from NASA!

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

    A set of sheets full of fun facts for each object in our solar system.


  • Solar System ToolKit Manual

    Solar System ToolKit Manual

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Exploring the Solar System ToolKit Manual: includes hands-on activities to show the structure of our Solar System, including models for sizes and distances, and to connect what is seen in the sky with where the planets are in relation to Earth. The m...

  • Song for IYA: Shoulders of Giants - AstroCappella

    Song for IYA: Shoulders of Giants - AstroCappella

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

  • Sorting the Solar System Cards

    Sorting the Solar System Cards

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Using images of Solar System objects, start discussions of the characteristics of asteroids, comets, planets, and moons. Practice scientific thinking by sorting objects into categories according to their common qualities.

  • Space Rocks PowerPoint

    Space Rocks PowerPoint

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Use this PowerPoint in conjunction with the activities included on the Space Rocks ToolKit or on its own. Talk about our smallest neighbors, their properties, how we are searching for them, and what we might do to avoid future impacts.

  • Space Rocks ToolKit Manual

    Space Rocks ToolKit Manual

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    The full manual to the Space Rocks ToolKit. You will also find each activity listed separately by searching under the category "ToolKit: Space Rocks." This is a large file, 12 MB.

  • Space Weather PowerPoint

    Space Weather PowerPoint

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

    Use this PowerPoint Presentation to show how space weather directly effects our way of life on Earth.


  • Spotting Craters Activity

    Spotting Craters Activity

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Use a flour model of the surface of the Moon to show how shadows show more details than direct light. Participants see the difference between what is observable during a full Moon and a partially dark Moon.

  • Standing in the Shadow of Earth

    Standing in the Shadow of Earth

    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Compare the shadow that an Earth globe casts with what we observe in the evening sky at sunset. Show your visitors the shadow of the earth as it rises as a dark blue shadow above the eastern horizon.

  • Star Maps: Supernova!

    Star Maps: Supernova!

    • Nighttime Event
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Which Stars in the Night Sky Will Go Supernova? Use star maps to find stars in the night sky that will eventually go supernova.
    You can extend or introduce this observing activity with the linked activities below.

  • Star Maps: Where are the Black Holes?

    Star Maps: Where are the Black Holes?

    • Nighttime Event
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Star maps marked with locations of black holes and FAQ's to be printed on the back.

  • Star Maps: Where Are the Distant Worlds? (Updated!)

    Star Maps: Where Are the Distant Worlds? (Updated!)

    • Nighttime Event
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Where are the distant worlds in the night sky? Use a star map to find constellations and to identify stars with extrasolar planets. (Northern Hemisphere only, naked eye) Updated 2013

  • Star Maps: Where are the Planets? with Activity

    Star Maps: Where are the Planets? with Activity

    • Nighttime Event
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Want to know what's up in our Solar System? Use a star map and mark the current locations of planets and the Moon along the ecliptic. Check the location of the planets this month with the link below.

  • Sun in a Different Light Activity and Banner

    Sun in a Different Light Activity and Banner

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Use this banner with views of the Sun in different wavelengths to prepare visitors for observing the Sun. See how different wavelengths of light reveal a variety of features caused by the Sun's magnetic activity.

  • SUPERNOVA in the Lives of Stars PowerPoint and Script

    SUPERNOVA in the Lives of Stars PowerPoint and Script

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

  • SUPERNOVA! ToolKit Manual

    SUPERNOVA! ToolKit Manual

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

  • Telecon: Moon Zoo with Dr. Chris Lintott

    Telecon: Moon Zoo with Dr. Chris Lintott

    • Target Audience
    • Adult
    Here you will find all downloads including the PowerPoint for the Thursday, March 25th telecon with Dr. Chris Lintott covering the Citizen Science Project: Moon Zoo.

    Dr. Chris Lintott's email, for comments on Moon Zoo: cjl@astro.ox.ac.uk


  • Telecon: Asteroids, Ion Propulsion, and NASA

    Telecon: Asteroids, Ion Propulsion, and NASA's Dawn Mission to Vesta and Ceres

    • Inside Venue

    NSN members joined Dawn mission scientist Dr. David Williams for a talk on NASA's Dawn mission.


  • Telecon: Astrobiology with Dr. David Morrison

    Telecon: Astrobiology with Dr. David Morrison

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Teen, Adult
    Here you will find all downloads including the PowerPoint
    for the Thursday, July 28th 2011 telecon on Astrobiology with Dr. David Morrison

  • Telecon: Black Holes with Dr. Eliot Quataert

    Telecon: Black Holes with Dr. Eliot Quataert

    Here you'll find the PowerPoint and all other downloads for the Thursday, June 18th telecon with Dr. Eliot Quataert introducing Black Holes

  • Telecon: Cosmic Disasters, Real and Imagined with Dr. Alan Harris

    Telecon: Cosmic Disasters, Real and Imagined with Dr. Alan Harris

    • Target Audience
    • Adult

  • Telecon: Cosmology from Gravitational Lensing

    Telecon: Cosmology from Gravitational Lensing

    • Inside Venue

    NSN Members are invited to join Dr. Mandeep Gill from SLAC as he discusses Cosmology from Gravitational Lensing.


  • Telecon: Curious about Curiosity? July 2012

    Telecon: Curious about Curiosity? July 2012

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Adult

  • Telecon: Dark Sky Resources and Globe at Night

    Telecon: Dark Sky Resources and Globe at Night

    • Target Audience
    • Adult

  • Telecon: Exploring the Dark Side of the Solar System with WISE and Dr. Ned Wright

    Telecon: Exploring the Dark Side of the Solar System with WISE and Dr. Ned Wright

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

  • Telecon: Exploring the Lunar Atmosphere with Brian Day

    Telecon: Exploring the Lunar Atmosphere with Brian Day

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Adult
    Here Brian Day discusses the latest findings about the Moon, describes what we know about the lunar atmosphere, and introduces NASA's upcoming Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission. We also examine how amateur astronomers and...

  • Telecon: Exploring the Moon with LADEE

    Telecon: Exploring the Moon with LADEE

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Teen, Adult

  • Telecon: GLOBE at Night and Light Pollution

    Telecon: GLOBE at Night and Light Pollution

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Teen, Adult
    Powerpoint and Audio files of February 5th, 2007 Telecon "GLOBE at Night: Light Pollution" with Connie Walker of NOAO and Chuck Buter of nightwise.org

  • Telecon: Globe at Night in 2014

    Telecon: Globe at Night in 2014

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Teen, Adult

    Connie Walker from Globe at Night joined Night Sky Network members on January 27th with the latest updates on the program.


  • Telecon: GLOBE at Night with Dr. Connie Walker

    Telecon: GLOBE at Night with Dr. Connie Walker

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    The PowerPoint and other files and links for the January 20, 2011 Telecon "GLOBE at Night: Light Pollution" with Connie Walker of NOAO, can be found here.

  • Telecon: High Energy Universe May 2013

    Telecon: High Energy Universe May 2013

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Teen, Adult

  • Telecon: How it Began with Chris Impey, October 2012

    Telecon: How it Began with Chris Impey, October 2012

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Teen, Adult

  • Telecon: How to Sanely Discuss Doomsday 2012 with Dr. Aveni

    Telecon: How to Sanely Discuss Doomsday 2012 with Dr. Aveni

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Teen, Adult
    Get ready for the public's questions about the "end of the world" happening this year. Arm yourself with history, facts, and humor with this telecon from leading astronomer, cultural anthropologist, and popular writer Anthony Aveni. Many club members...

  • Telecon: InOMN with Brooke Hsu

    Telecon: InOMN with Brooke Hsu

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Here you'll find all the links and downloads for the 2011 International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN) Telecon and for InOMN itself.

  • Telecon: JPL Science 101: Exoplanets and Kepler, with Dr. Nick Gautier

    Telecon: JPL Science 101: Exoplanets and Kepler, with Dr. Nick Gautier

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Teen, Adult

  • Telecon: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter May 2010

    Telecon: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter May 2010

    • Target Audience
    • Adult
    Here you will find all downloads including the PowerPoint for the Thursday, May 20, 2010 telecon with Brooke Hsu and Brian Day covering the most recent Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) findings.

  • Telecon: Make an Itty Bitty Radio Telescope

    Telecon: Make an Itty Bitty Radio Telescope

    • Target Audience
    • Adult
    Tele-Conference: "How to make an Itty Bitty Radio Telescope" with Sue Ann Heatherly, education officer for the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Green Bank, West Virginia.

  • Telecon: Mars Update with Dr. Yingst, March 2013

    Telecon: Mars Update with Dr. Yingst, March 2013

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Teen, Adult

  • Telecon: NEOs, Finding them before they find us, January 2013

    Telecon: NEOs, Finding them before they find us, January 2013

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Senior NASA research scientist Don Yeomens joined us on January 29th with facts and fun about NEOs, current missions and research, and some exciting sky events in 2013. Hear about the upcoming close Earth approach of asteroid 2012 DA14 in February, a...

  • Telecon: PANOPTES Project with Dr. Olivier Guyon and team

    Telecon: PANOPTES Project with Dr. Olivier Guyon and team

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Teen, Adult

  • Telecon: Radar Love with Dr. Catherine Neish & InOMN with Mike Simmons

    Telecon: Radar Love with Dr. Catherine Neish & InOMN with Mike Simmons

    • Target Audience
    • Adult
    Here you'll find the PowerPoints and all other downloads for the Thursday, July 22nd telecon with Dr. Catherine Neish, who will be our speaker entitled Radar Love: Using the LRO Mini-RF, a synthetic aperture radar on board NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance...

  • Telecon: Stargazers, Starfarers, and Kepler with Dr. Jeffrey Van Cleve

    Telecon: Stargazers, Starfarers, and Kepler with Dr. Jeffrey Van Cleve

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Here you will find all downloads including the PowerPoint for the Thursday, May 19th 2011 telecon with Dr. Jeffrey Van Cleve on Stargazers, Starfarers, and Kepler.

  • Telecon: The Magnetic Sun with Dr. Bryan Mendez, May 2012

    Telecon: The Magnetic Sun with Dr. Bryan Mendez, May 2012

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Teen, Adult

    Solar scientist and engaging presenter Dr. Bryan Mendez gave a great presentation on May 9th, 2012 all about our favorite star, the Sun.


  • Telecon: The New Night Sky Network

    Telecon: The New Night Sky Network

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Adult

    On April 28, 2014, Dave and Vivian, admins for the Night Sky Network, joined NSN members and presented the latest features of the newly updated NSN webpage. They also fielded questions from curious NSN members on additional features and requests.


  • Telecon: Transit of Venus with Chuck Bueter

    Telecon: Transit of Venus with Chuck Bueter

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Teen, Adult
    Get the lowdown on the many resources available as we get ready for the last-in-a-lifetime chance to see the Transit of Venus with your community. Chuck Bueter shares some great resources available for this outreach opportunity. Hear a quick and eng...

  • Telecon: Views from EPOXI: Colors in Our Solar System with Carolyn Crow

    Telecon: Views from EPOXI: Colors in Our Solar System with Carolyn Crow

    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Find the PowerPoint and all other downloads and files for the Thursday, March 24, 2011 telecon with Carolyn Crow.

  • Telescope ToolKit Activity Manual

    Telescope ToolKit Activity Manual

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Full manual for the ToolKit: Telescopes: Eyes on the Universe; provides hands-on activities to answer common questions at the telescope: Why don't I see any color? Why is the image upside down? What power is your telescope? Why doesn't it look like ...

  • Telescopes As Time Machines Passport

    Telescopes As Time Machines Passport

    • Nighttime Event
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

    The "Passport Through Time" handout shows the difference between each of three different distance categories: within our Solar System, within the Milky Way, and within the rest of the universe.


  • The Universe in a Different Light

    The Universe in a Different Light

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    There is more to the Universe than meets the eye. By looking in space using detectors for energy invisible to our eyes, we get a more complete story. Different energies of light reveal many secrets about the lives of stars and the galaxies that are ...

  • Treasure Hunt Handout - Updated!

    Treasure Hunt Handout - Updated!

    • Nighttime Event
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Participants tour the telescopes to hunt for different objects that contribute to stellar and planetary formation, using a Treasure Hunt Handout. Find out how stars form and find objects in the night sky that illustrate this process.

  • Trip Around the Triangle - Updated!

    Trip Around the Triangle - Updated!

    • Nighttime Event
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    This is a great way to organize a star party. Give visitors a context to what they will be viewing as they tour the telescopes. Observe the variety of naked-eye and telescopic treats that occupy the Summer Triangle. Hand out a printed guide to your...

  • Universe Discovery Guide: April

    Universe Discovery Guide: April

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

    Discover the universe with your family and friends! April's theme is Discovering Planet Families, and includes an exoplanets activity.


  • Universe Discovery Guide: August

    Universe Discovery Guide: August

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

    The August edition of the Guide includes activities and themes for the whole family related to the search for life in the universe and habitable planets.


  • Universe Discovery Guide: December

    Universe Discovery Guide: December

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Discover the universe with your family and friends!

  • Universe Discovery Guide: February

    Universe Discovery Guide: February

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

  • Universe Discovery Guide: January

    Universe Discovery Guide: January

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

  • Universe Discovery Guide: July

    Universe Discovery Guide: July

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

    The Universe constantly recycles its matter. New stars are born from the dust of dead stars. Find out how to observe two beautiful nebula that are the remains of dead or dying stars, and learn about how stars are born and die.


  • Universe Discovery Guide: June

    Universe Discovery Guide: June

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

    Discover the Universe with your Family and Friends! June's guide focuses on understanding and finding ancient stars and star clusters.


  • Universe Discovery Guide: March

    Universe Discovery Guide: March

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

  • Universe Discovery Guide: May

    Universe Discovery Guide: May

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

  • Universe Discovery Guide: November

    Universe Discovery Guide: November

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

  • Universe Discovery Guide: October

    Universe Discovery Guide: October

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

  • Universe Discovery Guide: September

    Universe Discovery Guide: September

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

    September is a great time to get out under dark skies and see the splendors of our own galaxy - the Milky Way! Use this guide to get some perspective on your magnificent views.


  • Venus Phases<br>Why Does Venus Look Like the Moon?

    Venus Phases
    Why Does Venus Look Like the Moon?

    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    You've seen the phases of the Moon. Did you know we also see the phases of two planets? Here is a great way to explain why we see phases of Venus when looking through the telescope.

  • What is the "Habitable Zone"?

    What is the "Habitable Zone"?

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Model the habitable zone around stars and how an atmosphere influences the habitability of a planet.

    Find out about the NASA Kelper Mission which is searching for Earth-like planets around other stars.


  • What Power Is Your Telescope?

    What Power Is Your Telescope?

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Using a few simple props, show the basics of how telescopes collect light with these activities. Address the concept of aperture and light-gathering capabilities.

  • Where Does the Energy Come From? Cards

    Where Does the Energy Come From? Cards

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Use this interactive card game and lead participants to discover that the Sun is the ultimate source of energy for almost everything that we do in our daily lives.

  • Why do Eclipses Happen?

    Why do Eclipses Happen?

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Using simple materials, participants create 3D models of the Earth, Moon and Sun and demonstrate solar and lunar eclipses.
    You can extend this activity with the links below.

  • Why Do We Put Telescopes In Space? (Activity and PowerPoint)

    Why Do We Put Telescopes In Space? (Activity and PowerPoint)

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    This activity helps explain why telescopes in space can be more effective than telescopes on Earth. Explains the twinkling of stars. Describes atmospheric conditions affecting telescopes.

  • Why Does the Moon Have Phases?

    Why Does the Moon Have Phases?

    • Daytime Event
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

    Moon Phases: Using a simple 3D model, allow participants to discover why the Moon has phases.


  • Why Doesn

    Why Doesn't It Look Like the Photos?

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

    This set of activities provides tools to help your visitors understand the two main reasons views through the telescope do not look like photographs: exposure time and different wavelengths.


  • Why Doesn

    Why Doesn't the Moon Fall to Earth? Exploring Orbits and Gravity

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Using a bucket with stretchy fabric stretched over it, allow visitors to experiment with marbles and weights to discover some basics about gravity and orbits.

  • Why Don

    Why Don't Eclipses Happen Every Month?

    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Create 3D models of the Earth, Moon and Sun and demonstrate solar and lunar eclipses. Show why we do not see eclipses at every full and new Moon.
    You might want to introduce this activity with one of the activities linked below.

  • Worlds of the Solar System- Make a Scale Model

    Worlds of the Solar System- Make a Scale Model

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Use a set of scaled balls and beads to show the relative sizes of the planets, the Moon, Ceres, and Pluto to each other and to the Sun. This permanent model can be used over and over again in many ways. Handout included.

  • ~ January 2009 IYA Discovery Guide: <br><b>Telescopes and Space Probes: Today's Starry Messengers</b>

    ~ January 2009 IYA Discovery Guide:
    Telescopes and Space Probes: Today's Starry Messengers

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

  • ~ July 2009 IYA Discovery Guide:<br><b>Black Holes</b>

    ~ July 2009 IYA Discovery Guide:
    Black Holes

    • Nighttime Event
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

  • ~ June 2009 IYA Discovery Guide: <br><b>Clusters of Stars</b>

    ~ June 2009 IYA Discovery Guide:
    Clusters of Stars

    • Nighttime Event
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

  • ~April 2009 IYA Discovery Guide: <br><b>Galaxies and the Distant Universe</b>

    ~April 2009 IYA Discovery Guide:
    Galaxies and the Distant Universe

    • Daytime Event
    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

  • ~August 2009 IYA Discovery Guide:<br><b>Rocks and Ice in the Solar System</b>

    ~August 2009 IYA Discovery Guide:
    Rocks and Ice in the Solar System

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

  • ~December 2009 IYA Discovery Guide: <br><b>Discovering New Worlds</b>

    ~December 2009 IYA Discovery Guide:
    Discovering New Worlds

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

  • ~February 2009 IYA Discovery Guide: <br> <b>Our Solar System</b>

    ~February 2009 IYA Discovery Guide:
    Our Solar System

    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult
    Use these IYA Discovery Guides to discover the excitement of the International Year of Astronomy. February's theme is Our Solar System. Also learn about the Moon this month and have a blast with the Spotting Craters activity.

  • ~March IYA Discovery Guide:<br><b>Observing at Night...and in the Day</b>

    ~March IYA Discovery Guide:
    Observing at Night...and in the Day

    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

  • ~May 2009 IYA Discovery Guide:<br> <b>Our Sun</b>

    ~May 2009 IYA Discovery Guide:
    Our Sun

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

  • ~November 2009 IYA Discovery Guide:<br><b>The Lives of Stars</b>

    ~November 2009 IYA Discovery Guide:
    The Lives of Stars

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

  • ~October 2009 IYA Discovery Guide:<br><b>What is the Fate of the Universe?</b>

    ~October 2009 IYA Discovery Guide:
    What is the Fate of the Universe?

    • Nighttime Event
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

  • ~September 2009 IYA Discovery Guide:<br><b>Planets and Moons</b>

    ~September 2009 IYA Discovery Guide:
    Planets and Moons

    • Daytime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Outside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • Child, Teen, Adult

Activity Key

Daytime Event
Daytime Event
Nighttime Event
Nighttime Event
Inside Venue
Inside Venue
Outside Venue
Outside Venue
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Target Audience