Astronomy Activities & Resources


  • Be the Local Transit Authority [Activity]

    Be the Local Transit Authority [Activity]

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

    This activity helps you demonstrate how transits of our Sun by Venus and Mercury work, and how transits are used to detect exoplanets.


  • Does the Moon Rotate? [Activity]

    Does the Moon Rotate? [Activity]

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

    Many people think that the moon doesn't rotate, but it actually does! This fun activity helps you demonstrate this rather unintuitive fact using your visitors, a few props, and the Sun's light.


  • Kepler Mission: The Search for Earth-Sized Planets [Presentation]

    Kepler Mission: The Search for Earth-Sized Planets [Presentation]

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

    This PowerPoint presentation explains NASA's Kepler Mission to search for transiting planets orbiting in the habitable zone of Sun-like stars.


  • Planet Phases: Why Does Venus Look Like the Moon? [Activity]

    Planet Phases: Why Does Venus Look Like the Moon? [Activity]

    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • 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.


  • Shadows & Silhouettes ToolKit [Manual]

    Shadows & Silhouettes ToolKit [Manual]

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

    Full manual for the Shadows & Silhouettes ToolKit. Hands-on activities on Moon phases, lunar and solar eclipses, transits, and Venus phases.


  • Skywatcher

    Skywatcher's Guide to the Moon [Handout]

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

    Follow the moon in the sky after the eclipse! Use this moon map to identify some of its most famous features, find out where the astronauts landed, and what fills its "seas."


  • Spotting Craters [Activity]

    Spotting Craters [Activity]

    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • 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 [Activity]

    Standing in the Shadow of Earth [Activity]

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

    Show your visitors that watching the sun set also means watching the night rise. Turn away from the setting sun to watch the shadow of our planet rise up in the east as night rises during these long winter nights.


  • Trip Around the Triangle [Activity & Handout]

    Trip Around the Triangle [Activity & Handout]

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

    This activity is a great way to organize a star party, and gives visitors context to what they will be viewing as they tour the telescopes and observe a variety of naked-eye and telescopic treats that occupy the Summer Triangle.


  • What is a Habitable Zone? [Activity]

    What is a Habitable Zone? [Activity]

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

    Model the habitable zone around stars and how an atmosphere influences the habitability of a planet.

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


  • Where Are the Sun-Like Stars? [Presentation]

    Where Are the Sun-Like Stars? [Presentation]

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

    This presentation includes a PowerPoint file, along with a suggested script about "Sun-like" stars. It discusses what kind of stars we can see with the unaided eye, and which stars are like our Sun. You might be surprised!


  • Why Do Eclipses Happen? - The Yardstick Eclipse Demonstration [Activity]

    Why Do Eclipses Happen? - The Yardstick Eclipse Demonstration [Activity]

    • Nighttime Event
    • Inside Venue
    • Target Audience
    • 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 Does the Moon Have Phases? [Activity]

    Why Does the Moon Have Phases? [Activity]

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

    This activity gives your visitors simple 3D models to help demonstrate the science of why the Moon has phases.


  • Why Don

    Why Don't Eclipses Happen Every Month? [Activity]

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

    Create 3D models of the Earth, Moon and Sun and demonstrate solar and lunar eclipse in this group activity. Show why we do not see eclipses at every full and new Moon.


Activity Key

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