Astronomy Software and Resources
For hundreds and even thousands of years, humans have been fascinated by outer space. Up until recent history, they had many different superstitious theories about the Sun, Moon, and stars. While scientists today have very advanced machines and technology that helps them to observe far into space, there is still much that we have to learn. Many scientists use extremely powerful telescopes and computers to look out into space. On the other hand, other researchers and astronauts actually travel to space to explore and record data. While it's a little more difficult for kids to observe space, there are actually plenty of online tools, games, and experiments that we can try at home or at school to find out more about space. Read on to get started!
Find out why people watched the sky in ancient times and what they were able to tell from the movement of heavenly bodies.
Learn about how telescopes work, and some interesting tidbits about the Sun, Earth, and Moon.
Head off on a trip to outer space and discover the planets in our solar system.
Check out the heaps of fun projects, activities, crafts and games that the space experts at NASA have organized for kids.
Read about meteors that fall from the sky, and try your hand at making a working telescope at home.
Black holes and comets are two types of interesting phenomena that scientists have been able to detect and observe in space with advanced technology. Some comets can even be seen with the naked eye when they pass close to the Earth.
Use these instructions to create a scale replica of the Spitzer Space Telescope with paper or even building blocks!
Investigating the Moon (PDF)
In this activity, students track the moon for a series of nights. Each night, they will sketch an image of the moon to observe how its movement and appearance gradually change through a lunar cycle.
Did you know that you can print out amazing pictures that were photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope? This site offers instructions on how to create big, beautiful prints of outer space.
This easy craft activity shows students how to make a neat astronomical tool that can be used to locate constellations according to the day and time.
We certainly can't travel to space to physically measure the entire Sun or Moon, but there is a little trick that even kids can try to approximate these measurements at home.
Print out these worksheets and try out the various experiments to learn more about the moon and traveling in space. Don't forget to record your observations and measurements as you go along!
Print out a star chart and then assemble it to start finding all the constellations in the night sky.
In this fun virtual adventure, kids can get a taste of what it is like to live and work in a space shuttle as an astronaut.
This lesson plan for K-4 students teaches how to observe the sky and make comparisons between the various heavenly bodies and their individual movements.
In this lesson plan, kids will learn why we see some constellations only at certain times of the year.
Choose a space coloring page and color it with the virtual tools provided online. Kids can also choose to print it out if they prefer a real life coloring experience too.
How many answers will you get right in this pop quiz on our solar system's planets?
This fast-paced scavenger hunt is tons of fun to try in the classroom. Students can hunt for clues individually or even in small teams. All printables are provided in this free kit.
Ever wondered what a comet really looks like? In this activity, you'll be making your very own comet out of a few standard household materials and craft supplies.
Find out how to use differently sized objects to create a scale-model of the solar system. After it is completed, use it as a fun science decoration in class or in your bedroom!
Try some of these quirky science experiments to understand how standard physics principles work in space.
If you've ever stared at the moon for some time, you've likely noticed that its surface is marked with numerous craters. In this activity, kids will create their own version of the moon's surface in order to learn how craters are formed and what they might look like up close.
Have some space-themed fun with your fellow students by trying out a solar system trading card game in class. This lesson plan includes downloadable materials, along with plenty of background information and additional resources for further reading.
Take your pick from a wide range of crafts that explain how to build miniature models of spacecrafts, satellites, and more.
Think it's impossible to see the moon during daylight hours? This activity might prove you wrong!
To do this activity, you will need to collect a variety of common objects that help demonstrate the difference in sizes between the Earth and other planets.
For hundreds of years, people have noted how the stars can be plotted in a diagram to make the outline of a shape, such as animals, people, and more. When you try this activity, what type of shape might you see in the stars?
Try a fun online game that will send you hunting throughout the solar system in a race against time!
Even though the Sun is very far away, we can learn more about it by trying out some of these activities and experiments.