I have been looking for an enticing entry point into exploring the night sky with the girls. When I read about GLOBE at Night’s annual global sky observation, I thought it would be a great opportunity to introduce them to a couple of constellations and to build their enthusiasm for astronomy. The project runs from March 16th through the 28th (there is still time to participate). They offer step-by-step instructions that are easy to understand and can be enjoyed by any age. What I really like about this experience is that we only had to learn about and observe one constellation—Orion.
We prepared for our experience by taking a trip to the Rose Center for Earth and Space. While we were there we focused on learning about stars and explored the concept of constellations. We also found some wonderful constellation cards, glow in the dark stars for the ceiling and a great introductory book on astronomy (see below). When we returned home, we used the glow in the dark stars to make Orion and a couple of other newly discovered constellations on the ceiling of the girl’s room. After watching the Introduction to Orion video, we were ready to participate.
The girls knew just what they were looking for and together we were able to easily identify Orion. After selecting the magnitude chart that most resembled our nighttime view we reported our results. Next, we were able to compare our results with reports from all over the world! We had a great time watching the stars together as a family and the girls are now always on the lookout for a glimpse of a new constellation in the sky above.