Thank you so much for purchasing my book! The videos below will help you learn even more about Astronomy & Space!
Discover our Universe with these BONUS Videos from the Author!
Grab your star charts and hop into your spaceship as we explore the universe with these bonus videos author Aurora Lipper has put together for you!
The Sun (part 1)
Let’s explore Earth’s closest star: the sun! The sun is a star at the center of our solar system. The sun is a hot ball of glowing gases that keeps us warm, gives us light to see, and provides energy to keep all living things alive. If the sun were the size of your front door, the Earth would be the size of a nickel.
Make a Spectrometer!
Using simple materials, you can build a scientific instrument to split incoming light (like from the sun, a candle, a lamp) into a rainbow signature that will tell you information about what created the light in the first place. Astronomers use spectrometers to tell what a distant star is using for fuel by splitting the incoming starlight into different wavelengths.
The Sun (part 2)
The sun holds most of the mass of our solar system (the “stuff”). Our sun is brighter than most stars in our milky way galaxy, it’s 109 times as large as the earth and 333,000 times as massive. Only 5% of the stars in our galaxy are larger than our sun. Let's take a closer look at our amazing sun!
Phases of the Moon
The Moon is the Earth's only natural satellite. The Moon helps our planet keep things in balance, like our weather, our orbit, and our oceans. Have you ever noticed how the moon changes shape each night? Here's a fun activity you can do tonight with a flashlight and a ball.
Inner Solar System
It’s time to look farther into space at the inner solar system! Like Earth, the planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars are rocky. Mercury and Venus are visible in the west after dusk and in the east before dawn. Mercury and Venus look like shiny lights in the night sky, and Mars looks like a bright red diamond.
Outer Solar System
Explore the outer solar system as we soar past gas planets Jupiter and Saturn, zoom by ice giants Uranus and Neptune, and dodge our way through the Kuiper Belt! Get ready to discover asteroids with moons, planets with rings, and snowy volcanoes.
All About Comets!
Comets and asteroids move fast through space and leave a trail of tiny bits behind them as they orbit the sun. When the earth passes through their trail, small pieces enter our atmosphere and become meteors, or shooting stars. Discover what comets and asteroids are made of, why they change color, and how you can help discover new ones!
The stars you see at night are grouped together in families called galaxies. Earth lives in the Milky Way galaxy. The Milky Way looks like a flat disk with a center made up of more stars. Our sun is just one of the 100 billion stars in the Milky Way!
Nebulae & Star Clusters
Most stars form in clusters. When gravity pulls together gas and dust into a giant cloud, star clusters are born. Star clusters are the building blocks of galaxies.
Nebulae are the most colorful wisps of gas and dust in the dark depths of space. They can be the scattered bit of an exploding star or “factories” that build new stars. Discover how nebulae form, why they glow, and where to find them!
When a star runs out of fuel, it can generate a gigantic blast called a supernova. The gas and dust from this explosion can create a nebula, which glows until the collapsed core of the star cools down.
The Great Orion Nebula is 20,000 times larger than our solar system and will look like a faint green fuzzy through binoculars. This is a great constellation to look at in the winter months.
Polaris & the Big Dipper
It’s time to get out and explore the skies with your own eyes. The night is full of potential for fun stargazing activities you can do with the help of a grown-up. Ask them for permission to maybe stay up a little past bedtime, and you’ll be looking up with wonder like a real astronomer in no time.
The best globular cluster is found in summer in the constellation Hercules. It’s a tight ball of hundreds of thousands of stars held together by gravity. Let’s learn how to star hop to find it.
The galaxy Andromeda is visible most of the year. The galaxy will look like a faint fuzzy with binoculars on a clear, dark night. We’ll star hop to find the Andromeda galaxy by using 2 constellations to locate it.
Stargazing Session: The Moon
When you look at the moon, you will see the entire surface is filled with craters and impacts from asteroids, comets, and meteors. The best time to observe the moon with binoculars is when it’s 5 days after the new moon. Look up in the sky right after sunset, and you will be able to see dark spots on the surface. Light areas in the southern region have the heaviest and oldest cratering on the surface. The images in the book's stargazing activities were taken with Brian's telescope!
Using Binoculars for Stargazing
Stargazing binoculars generally are between a magnification of 7x to 10x. The objective lenses (the larger lenses) are usually between 35mm to 60mm, although I don't recommend anything larger than 50mm because it gets hard to hold steady the longer you look through them. I wouldn't go any smaller than 7x35 for stargazing. 7x50 or 10x50 are a perfect size for astronomy.
How to Tell Time by the Stars!
In the book, I've mentioned that you can use the Big Dipper as a "Sky Clock". This works because from the northern hemisphere, the Big Dipper is above the horizon for most of the year. In the spring time (especially in March), it's fun and easy to learn how to tell time by the stars! This video will show you how!
How to Use Stellarium
During our stargazing sessions, I showed the night sky using free planetarium software called Stellarium. It can be a little difficult to learn how to use, so I've created this video to demonstrate how to use it easily to help you learn the night sky. Enjoy!