- Available at PARI during your visit.
- Available at your location with our portable planetarium. *Price varies by county due to travel and fuel costs.
- We adapt the show to the grade/age of your group.
- Let us know if there are key concepts you'd like us to emphasize. We will align with what your group is studying.
Does everyone see the same sky at night? This program looks at the evening’s sky, noting the classical constellations, the Moon and planets that might be visible. We note how stars appear to move as the night progresses. We'll talk about why we see the sky we do at out location and time of year, and why it looks different at different times and from different places on Earth.
We’ll also discuss why starry skies are a vanishing treasure due to light pollution diluting our view of the cosmos. Did you know that naturally dark skies are good for the health of both humans and wildlife too?
Makes a great addition to an evening viewing to help you get acquainted with what you'll see once it gets dark!
What makes the Moon change phases and sometimes even dissapear? Does a lunar eclipse work the same way as the regular phases of the Moon? Does the Moon look the same to everyone, or does it look different from other parts of the Earth? Why is it sometimes out at night, and sometimes during the day?
In this program we will explore the motions and phases of the Moon by first using models and hands-on activities, then observe them in our planetarium.
Especially well suited for younger learners who want to get up and move around!
What do you see when you look up at the night sky? Do the shapes made by the stars look like people and animals on exciting adventures, or grand buildings and important objects? Or maybe you see rivers and mountains representing a far off land?
Humans have been telling stories about what they see in the stars for as long as we can remember. These celestial patterns we learn to recognize act as guideposts for finding out way around in the sky and help determine the changing seasons and track important events.
Today the International Astronomical Union recognizes eighty-eight constellations for organizing the night sky, with most of them based Greek or Roman traditions. But, cultures around the world see different things an tell different stories that reflect their history, beliefs, and way of life. We'll explore some of these views of the night in Stars of My People!
Perfect for exploring cultures and traditions around the world and engaging story-tellers. Ask to add on extra classroom time to draw your own constellations and tell stories from new points of view.
Can you find the planets in the night sky? Do you know how to tell which bright points of light are stars and which are balls of gas an rock in our own solary system? It is easier than you think once you know the Realm of the Planets.
The journey the planets take across the sky follows what is called the ecliptic and is also home to the Sun, Moon, and the Zodiac constellations. This common path is why things appear to move as they do, why we have equinoxes and solstices, and why sometimes things appear to move backwards, or retrograde.
We'll also take a look at how the sky changes over time and introduce you to Ophiuchus the Serpent Bearer... can you guess why?
If you've ever wondered, "Hey, what's that really bright star over there?" this is the program for you!
You probably know that here at PARI, winter begins in December and summer arrives in July. But, not everywhere in the world experiences these seasons at the same time of year as us.
One thing every part of Earth has in common is that the seasons changes on solstices and equinoxes. What season you get depends on where you are. The Earth's tilt on its axis is responsible for this, and we'll investigate when and why it causes the familiar changes we see each year.
Smaller changes happen each day as well, like the location and time that the Sun sets and rises. This leads to different lengths of daylight and amounts of energy each part of the Earth receives.
Ancient peoples around the world used these same techniques to make calendars and determine when to plant and harveset crops, or when to plan a journey.
Over 200 years ago, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark returned from their exploration of the Louisiana Purchase. In the days before GPS, how did they know where they were?
Using the Sun, the Moon, and navigational stars, they could determine their latitude and longitude as they created a map of their journey across the newest piece of the United States. They didn't do it alone either, they had some crucial help along they way that made their journey a success.
Do you think these methods were new and unique, cutting-edge navigational techniques at the time? Or did they take advantage of a long tradition of navigation using the stars that humans discovered long ago?
A blending of history and astronomy join here to show the connection between humanity and the stars.