Module : Observing the Night Sky

Observing the Night Sky


In this module, we use the Stellarium software to give pupils a guided tour of the night sky, as seen from their community. After touching on how astronomers map the cosmos, we investigate a range of celestial objects, including planets, moons, open and globular star clusters, red giants, planetary nebula, supernova remnants, galaxies and white dwarfs to name a few. We explore a few constellations in more depth and discover how travellers can navigate by the stars. By speeding up time, pupils will be able to witness the unexpected motion of planets, and observe how the path of the Sun changes over the year. We then take a virtual trip to Australia and explore the true wonders of the southern sky. Older groups (age 11-14) will look in more detail at the different celestial co-ordinate systems in use, and in a practical activity, will work together to request an observation from a professional robotic telescope.

Age Range

7 – 11   or   11 – 14


45 minutes

Module Composition
  • Introduction to the Night Sky – Presentation
  • Touring the cosmos with Stellarium – Practical Activity
  • Observing with Telescopes – Presentation
  • Light Pollution – Practical Activity
Extension Activities

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