October 08, 2021 4 min read
This Saturday, October 9 is Astronomy Day – a day to encourage us to look up at the heavens. Here at Science Shepherd, we’re all about enjoying God’s creation, especially as families and in fun-filled ways. Here are some fun (and budget-friendly) ideas to make some out-of-this-world family memories this Astronomy Day as you look up together and marvel at God’s handiwork.
The best thing to do on Astronomy Day is get outside and see what you can see! Because the Moon is almost a first quarter moon (occurring October 12), the impact of the moonlight on the night sky will be minimal. If the weather cooperates and you can get away from city lights, there should be a lot to see! One of the most useful tools you can take with you is a sky map, which will help you find various stars, constellations, planets and more. You can download a free star map from skymaps.com. Be sure to download the correct star map for the hemisphere you are in and for October! The stars that can be seen in the northern hemisphere are different from the ones that can be seen in the southern hemisphere, just as what celestial objects are visible in your hemisphere varies throughout the year.
To help you get started, here is a lesson from our Astronomy: God's Universe course in which Dr. Hardin explains how to use a star map.
If you venture out to stargaze, here are some other things you might want to take along with your star map:
Having a handful of tasty snacks is a sure way to bring even more fun to Astronomy Day! Here are a few ideas.
Either outside under the stars or indoors, gather with God’s Word and read aloud these Scripture passages that mention the heavens.
Here are questions you could discuss about these verses.
If you like, look up other verses that talk about the stars and the heavens.
You can play this game either outside or indoors! Using some of the constellations you spot with your star map, play a game of Pictionary to guess different heavenly objects. What will you need?
If you are playing outside, you’ll also need enough light to see what is being drawn. Don't forget the red flashlight!
Write the name of a constellation or astronomical phenomenon (e.g., shooting star) on each piece of paper. Then take turns with one person trying to draw the object written on the piece of paper while everyone else guesses what is being drawn! Some of the constellations may be easy to draw or guess, others not so much, but that’s all part of the fun.
Here are some constellations and astronomical phenomena to get you started.
For over 30 years, notwithstanding some initial technical difficulties, the Hubble Space Telescope has been providing incredible images from deep space (and some within our Solar System, too!). Its vast catalogue of pictures of stars, galaxies, nebula and more is available to browse for free at hubblesite.org.
Some of our favorites that you can search for are the Andromeda galaxy (M31), Pillars of Creation, Messier 106 and basically any pictures of Saturn.
We hope you and yours get to look up this Astronomy Day (or another day soon!) and make out-of-this-world memories as you marvel over God’s handiwork together!
Learn more about constellations, the solar system, galaxies, nebula and more in Astronomy: God's Universe. Available in Level A with 66 video lessons (grades 5-7) or Level B with over 20 additional lessons (grades 7+).
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