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In this part of the lesson, you have the chance to observe the night sky with the help of a map of the night sky that you make yourself! Follow the directions on this sheet to help you make your map.
- Cut out the map of the night sky, which has constellations on it. You will be left with an oval map of the night sky.
- The holder for your map has the months and days written on it. Cut out the oval in the middle. Be sure to leave the rectangle on the bottom.
- Fold the rectangle back, so it is hidden in the back and staple it down where there are white markings.
- Now slip the circle into the pocket in the back so that the map shows through the “window.”
- Line up today’s date with 7 pm. Now you are ready to do a real nighttime star search!
- Write below three constellations that you can try to spot tonight.
- Be sure to write down your observations after you go in search of constellations.
Tips for Star Searching
- Star searching is best done away from city lights.
- You may want to bring a blanket or lawn chair so that you can be comfortable. Lie back or sit back as you look at the sky.
- Dress for the weather.
- Remember bug spray if it’s summer.
- Bring your Map of the Night Sky and a flashlight so that you can look at the map.
- Late summer or winter evenings may allow you to see the Milky Way—our galaxy of about 200 billion stars that looks like a “river” or “band” of stars in the night sky.
Constellations I observed:
What did you learn?
Your teacher just asked you to move your wheel from one date to the next, lining it up with 7 p.m. What did you notice about the constellations? Write down what you observed below.