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Web Sites

The Constellations and their Stars from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is well laid out and user friendly. It includes both interactive images and information about every star and constellation in our night sky, along with references, resources, links, a calendar of star and planetary positions, and a constellation quiz. Young adults and adults will find this site a useful resource.

Stars by Jim Kaler, Professor Emeritus of Astronomy at the University of Illinois, contributes a wealth of stellar information about constellations on his “Stars” website. Dr. Kaler shares stories and somewhat obscure, but interesting, information about individual stars and constellations, constellation photos, interesting background information, and links to images of all 88 constellations and their individual stars.

Windows to the Universe (select “constellations”) is an easy-to-navigate, comprehensive site that includes a full range of constellation images, sky myths about gods and goddesses, activities, games, movies, animations, and data sets for three reading levels.

Sky & Telescope magazine offers an easy-to-access interactive sky chart giving viewers a customized view of the sky for any location on Earth, on any date, at any time. There are several other useful links including astronomy basics, visual observing, using telescopes and binoculars, star clubs, organizations, events, and resources such as software, sky calendars, maps, and Sky & Telescope’s magazine for beginners.

The Night Sky from facilitates family interaction through night sky observing. It includes activities, an instructional, inquiry based guide for parents, a list of astronomy tools and downloads, and a fun section called “night sky scrapbook,” where viewers are invited to post their notes and observations of the night sky and read those from others.

The Skymapper site abounds with information and data for stargazers young and old. Viewers can surf the night sky, see the sky as it appears right now from their own backyard, receive updates on the latest news and views, and download a free copy of Stargaze Astronomy for Windows.

On Enchanted Learning’s Zoom Astronomy site, young viewers ages 8–15 can find a list of the 88 constellations and short descriptions and clear illustrations of 33 of the more common ones. Links to definitions of terms such as “globular cluster” and “planetary nebulae” enhance the viewers’ experience.

To help you find your way around the night sky, makes available for free each month The Evening Sky Map, a two-page monthly guide to the night skies for ages 14 and older. Each issue contains a detailed sky map and pertinent information about the sky for that month. Also offered is an extensive list of resources, such as posters, books, videos, and other products for sky buffs.

Constellation Videos are iMovie videos recorded by six students who researched a constellation, then drew pictures, wrote scripts, and recorded a short movie clip about their constellation. It is informative as well as entertaining for children of all ages!

Your Sky is an interactive planetarium that allows viewers ages 13 and older to produce sky maps from any latitude and longitude, access horizon views, and see objects (including asteroids and comets) in the sky with a virtual telescope.

Viewers ages 10 and older can choose their destination among the stars with National Geographic Online, or view beautiful Hubble Space Telescope images as overlays on a nighttime star chart.

Make a Star Finder allows young stargazers, ages 8–12, the opportunity to make their own Star Finder (cootie catcher) for any month of the year, and then play a game with it. Also of interest at the NASA’s Space Place site is a link explaining the difference between astronomy and astrology and an explanation of what constitutes a constellation.

StarDate Online is McDonald Observatory’s education/public outreach division, offering daily radio programs, a bimonthly astronomy magazine, a monthly sky almanac, stargazing tips, star lore, and numerous astronomy resources to teachers and the general public.