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Astronomy for Kids

Astronomy for Kids

Astronomy for Kids

Get 200+ astronomy facts, activities, & fun for kids exclusively from Astronomy magazine.This 100 page special issue includes engaging and fun articles, hands-on STEM activities, and even a 12-page comic by Michael Bakich, Astronomy Senior Editor and longtime planetarium educator.

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United States
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
R 142,60

in this issue

4 min
let’s make a comet

PEOPLE ENJOY LOOKING AT COMETS, especially bright ones. They are small, usually just a mile or so across, and their shapes are irregular. Comets are made of dust and frozen gases. Many of them travel along stretchedout orbits that sometimes bring them close to the Sun, and then take them far into space, way beyond Pluto’s orbit. If you look at a comet or a photo of a comet, you’ll see a couple of things. The round part is the coma, the gas that boils off the comet and then surrounds it. The coma can be tens of thousands of miles across. As a comet gets close to the Sun, a tail forms. Some comets have long tails, up to tens of millions of miles long, and some have two tails,…

6 min
chart the stars

ON A DARK NIGHT, the sky can look like a jumbled mess. The stars don’t seem to have any order. But long ago, people made up pictures we call constellations to keep track of the stars. And we still use them today. There are 88 constellations that cover the sky. Some are famous, like the Great Bear (which contains the Big Dipper), Orion the Hunter, and Taurus the Bull. But, how can you figure out which one is which? Like driving somewhere in a car, you need a map. You can use a road map at any time, and it’s good for years. But the sky changes some with each hour and with each season. If you look at the sky at 10 p.m. on the first day of spring, and then…

2 min
sizing up the moon

THE FULL MOON LOOKS BIGGER while it is rising than when it’s high in the sky. But it’s not bigger — it’s actually a little bit smaller. When the Moon is near the ground, it’s about 4,000 miles (6,440 kilometers) farther away from you than when it’s overhead. So, it’s smaller near the ground (by about 1½ percent) than when you see it high in the sky. Somehow our mind tricks us into thinking it’s bigger when it’s rising. Astronomers call this effect the Moon Illusion. There’s an easy way to prove the Moon isn’t bigger when it’s near the ground. Here’s how. What to do 1 Go outside around sunset on the date of a Full Moon. Check the table below for dates of the Full Moon. Find the Moon as it…

6 min
meet the stars of spring

MOST PEOPLE LIKE SPRING. The weather is starting to warm up, and the days are still short enough to let us look at the stars early in the evening. So, you won’t have to stay up late to see them. Probably the best time to go outside is about an hour after sunset. One thing you’ll notice — and this is true for all four seasons — is that if you look at the stars at the same time each night, they’ll be in different places at the end of spring than they were at the beginning. This happens because Earth is traveling around the Sun. Start by facing north, and look for one of the most famous constellations, Ursa Major the Great Bear. If you’re at a dark place and have…

2 min
see the sun safely

YOU WANT TO LOOK AT THE SUN, but you don’t have a solar filter for your telescope. Maybe you don’t even have a telescope. No problem! Somewhere at home, we’ll bet you have a cardboard box. That and a few other things will let you build a “pinhole viewer” for the Sun. And even though the Sun will look tiny, it will be the Sun, and you can watch it as long as you want. This viewer is totally safe — and also pretty close to free. Just follow these steps. Feel free to change the size of the box and decide whether you want to cut off the extra cardboard pieces. You also can try using a thicker pin or a sharp pencil to see if it gives you a better-looking…

4 min
your first binoculars

“I WANT A TELESCOPE. Which one should I buy?” Sometimes, the answer is, “Buy binoculars. Then, if you’re still curious, a telescope is next.” But which binoculars are best for looking at things in the sky? And what should you look for when buying them? Why use binoculars? • Humans have two eyes, and things look better when you use them both because more light reaches your brain. • You’ll see more details on things you observe. • You’ll see more color on some faint objects. • Binoculars give you a wide view. You won’t see as much as when you use your eyes, but you’ll see a lot more than through a telescope. • Binoculars are easy to carry and set up. • They’re ready to go right out of the box.…