Planetariums are great places for seeing what they night sky looks like without having to have a powerful telescope. Create your own DIY planetarium from a few simple supplies and explore constellations found in the Milky Way galaxy. We love fun and easy space activities for kids!
HOW TO MAKE A PLANETARIUM
NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON’S PLANETARIUM
Famous scientist, Neil deGrasse Tyson is an American astrophysicist, planetary scientist, author, and science communicator. Since 1996 he has been the director of the world famous Hayden Planetarium.
Tyson first become interested in space when age 9, he visited the Hayden Planetarium of the American Museum of Natural History for the first time.
He is well known for his demotion of Pluto to a dwarf planet. Tyson said that to deem Pluto a “planet” would insult all the other planets in the solar system.
You may not be able to travel to the Hayden Planetarium, but you can explore the constellations with your own homemade star projector.
A constellation is simply a group of stars that forms a recognizable pattern. Constellations are named from what they form or sometimes they are given the name of a mythological figure. They are similar to landmarks in the night sky and are useful for assisting astronomers and navigators to locate certain stars.
CONSTELLATIONS YOU MAY SEE:
Orion The Hunter
In mythology, Orion was known as one of the most handsome men. His constellation can be found facing a bull or chasing the Pleiades sisters in the sky. He is shown with his large club. Orion’s belt is a string of very bright stars that is very easy to find and well known.
Cassiopeia is a large constellation in the northern sky named after the vain queen Cassiopeia, mother of Andromeda, in Greek mythology, who boasted about her unrivaled beauty. It can be identified by its distinctive W shape, formed by five bright stars in the constellation.
This constellation is named after Andromeda, daughter of Cassiopeia, in the Greek myth, who was chained to a rock to be eaten by the sea monster Cetus. Its most notable feature is the great Andromeda Galaxy, one of the nearest galaxies to Earth and one of the few galaxies you can see with the naked eye.
- Pringles can
- Constellation printable
- Black paper
STEP 1: Print out the constellation template above.
STEP 2: Cut out the circles.
STEP 3: Trace the plastic lid onto black paper three times. Cut out the three circles.
STEP 4: Tape the constellations to the black circles and punch your nail through the ‘stars’.
STEP 5: Wrap the can with decorative paper.
STEP 6: Put one of your constellation circles into the plastic lid.
STEP 7: Shine your flashlight inside the can, and point your can at the ceiling or wall in a dark room to see your constellations come to life!
MORE FUN SPACE ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS
Explore fun and easy space activities for kids!
Try this easy to print and set up constellation activities.
Create this watercolor galaxy painting inspired by our own Milky Way galaxy.
Enjoy a bit of edible astronomy with Oreo phases of the moon.
Make a glow in the dark moon craft.
Explore our solar system with this printable solar system lapbook project.
DIY CONSTELLATION PROJECTOR FOR KIDS
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