Learn how to use star maps to navigate the night sky!
Don Wheeler of the Louisiana Delta Community College Science Club and Ouachita Valley Astronomy League shows a group of Girl Scouts how to use a star map to navigate through the night sky. Photo Credit: Heather Miles

In northern Louisiana, out of the hurricane's path, a Girl Scout troop is introduced to the sky by members of the Louisiana Delta Community College Science Club and Ouachita Valley Astronomy League. As reported by Don Wheeler, "We were racing against time as clouds from Hurricane Rita were spiraling in from the south." The Scouts learned to hold the star maps up toward the sky, instead of down as is done for a road map.

JanaRuth Ford of the Barnard-Seyfert Astronomical Society reports on an event in Nashville, Tennessee, "This event was the Gala Opening Night for the Nashville Symphony. Featured were Mozart's Symphony No. 41 in C major 'Jupiter' and Holst's 'The Planets' with Leonard Nimoy narrating." After the concert, about 100 people gathered around the club's telescopes to view celestial objects. JanaRuth continues, "Unfortunately, from our line-of-sight in the downtown area surrounded by tall buildings, no planets were visible. Since the concert was 'The Planets', we decided the next best option was to point out stars that are orbited by known planets."

At a public event at their observatory, Bob Moody of the Arkansas Oklahoma Astronomical Society says, "We discussed the way that astronomers discover planets around other stars by the 'wobble' method . . . We concluded with locating two stars where we've found other worlds, Gamma Cephei and 51 Pegasi."

At a nighttime astronomy event for a high school in Ewa Beach, Hawaii, John Gallagher of the Hawaiian Astronomical Society relates, "I felt this would be an excellent opportunity to expose the students to star maps and to explain NASA's mission to find other stars with planets. The students were surprised to learn that there are other stars with planets that may harbor life."

To find out for yourself how to navigate through the sky, contact one of the clubs in the Night Sky Network. Just click on the Club Directory.