Tonight should be a very good night for star gazing. The moon is waning and will be at 3%. The next two nights will be even darker, but the skies should be overcast, so get out tonight and do some stargazing. First, figure out where your home is relative to the four cardinal directions. If you have a cellphone, use the compass on your GPS.
Star Chart. This star chart is from the Davis Planetarium at the Maryland Science Center. You may find some of the constellations a little hard to identify in the actual night sky, but watching this video first should help. Now head out and see if you can identify some of the constellations on the chart. Hang onto that chart because you might want it for the next activity.
Starring You. Try doing some constellation yoga. Look at your star chart. Does it suggest any other poses? Lie down on the floor and try posing as a constellation, like Orion or Ursa Major. Have someone take your picture. Send your star chart and the picture to a friend and see if they can guess which constellation you are. Print your picture and draw or paste stars where they would appear on that constellation in a star chart.
Wondering what the stories are behind the constellations? Here’s a video that shares a few stores about the stars grouped around the arrangement we often call the big dipper. And if you that leaves you wanting to know more stories about the starts, download The Legends of the Stars.