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Constellation Viewer

Do you know any constellations found in the night sky? Make your own version of a constellation and then go see if you can find the real version.

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Plan

  • What constellations do you already know?
  • What constellations are visible at this time of year? You can use a star map to get an idea of what you can see.
  • What supplies will you need for this activity?

Do

  • Trace one of the ends of your tube onto a piece of paper
  • Grab a picture of your favourite constellation and draw it inside the circle you just traced – make the stars nice and big.
  • Secure the paper to one end of your tube by using tape or a rubber band. Don’t leave any openings
  • Using a pencil, gently poke a hole for each star in the constellation.
  • Turn the lights out and shine the flashlight through the open end of the tube and project your constellation onto a surface.
  • Go outside and see if you can find your constellation in the night sky! Does it look similar to the version that you made?

Review

  • What other constellations are in the night sky?
  • How can you use constellations to help you figure out where you are?
  • Does everyone in the world see the same constellations in the sky?

Materials

Materials list is per individual

  • Cardboard tube (a toilet paper or paper towel roll is perfect)
  • Scissors
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Tape or a rubber band
  • Flashlight
  • A picture of your favourite constellation

Keep it Simple

  • To help you better recognize the constellations in the sky, project your constellation viewer onto a piece of paper taped to a wall. Stand back from the wall to make the constellation the size of the piece of paper and trace it onto the paper. Use your paper version and a star map to help you find the constellation in the sky.

Take it Further

  • Every week at your meeting, look for the constellation you have chosen. How does it move over time? What causes the constellation to move?