What lies beyond our atmosphere? If you hopped into a spaceship, you could reach the moon in about a 3 days. After 200 days, you’d pass by Mars, and in 35 years you would exit our solar system. That’s just a small portion of our known universe!
Luckily, you don’t have to leave Earth to see the stars and planets of our solar system. Discover the night sky through the activities below.
To earn your badge, complete ONE activity for each section. Then, log your experience using the link at the bottom of the page.
Observe the Night Sky – Look up at the night sky and find the Little Dipper, Big Dipper, Orion’s Belt, the North Star, and one constellation of your choosing. Optional: check out the sky on April 22nd to catch the Lyrid Meteor Shower!
Track Earth’s Rotations – On three separate sheets of paper or note cards, draw the view from the front of your house. Include permanent features such as trees and buildings. Once it’s dark outside, draw the night sky as it appears over the features in your original sketch. Make sure to include the moon. Repeat this exercise two more times, waiting an hour between each drawing. What changed between the drawings?
Learn about Black Holes – Watch Searching for Intermediate Mass Black Holes in Spiral Galaxies with the Help of Citizen Science , a Lunchtime Discovery talk hosted by North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
Contribute to Spiral Graph – Trace the arms of spiral galaxies in this online citizen science project. Spiral Graph was created by Dr. Treuthhardt at North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
Make a Cloud in a Bottle – Create a cloud using a bottle, water, a match, and adult supervision. Detailed instructions can be found here, courtesy of Boston Museum of Science.
Design A Constellation – Draw your own constellation by drawing it on paper or chalking it on the sidewalk. Don’t forget to name it!