Sky Watching

Sky Watching


In this lesson, you will consider the history of night-sky observing by doing your own observations, first naked-eye, then with binoculars, and then looking at the results of telescope observations.


Before you do your own observations of the night sky, you should first learn more about Galileo and his discoveries.

Go to From Galileo to the Hubble activity, where you will see a brief timeline beginning with Galileo and going up through the Hubble telescope. Think about these questions as you look at the timeline (you can write your answers to these questions on the Sky Watching student sheet):

  • Do you think that when Galileo made observations it was the same as it is today?
  • Do you think Galileo did naked-eye observations? How do you think that compared to using a telescope?

After you have finished your night-sky observations, explore Stars. You should spend five to ten minutes exploring pictures taken by the Hubble telescope. Think about answers to these questions as you explore the pictures (you can write your answers on the student sheet):

  • What did you learn from your night-sky observations?
  • If you had the opportunity to use binoculars, what did the binoculars allow you to see?
  • Compare what you saw in your own observations to what can be seen through the Hubble telescope.

Knowledge Check

In addition to reflecting on the differences between your own observations as compared to those made by the Hubble by writing a paper titled “Naked-Eye Sky Observation Compared to One Using a Telescope,” you also can continue to explore the Galileo Project and write about how the telescope impacted the life of Galileo. Would he have made his discoveries without the telescope?

This esheet is a part of the Sky Watching lesson.

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