Lunar and Planetary Institute






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LPI Education and Public Outreach
Polaris
Activities About Polaris Books Audio/Video Web Sites

Web Sites

Polaris and its companion stars are about 390 light years away from our solar system!Sky and Telescope offers an easy-to-use interactive sky chart where young adult and adult viewers can access a customized view of the sky for any location and time. Several useful links explore astronomy basics, visual observing, using telescopes and binoculars, star clubs, events, and other resources for the night sky enthusiast.

 

Why the North Star Stands Still, from the American Indian Resource Directory, shares the enchanting story of the mountain goat Na-gah, or Negah, whose quest to conquer the highest mountain ended in desperation, until he was transformed into the North Star! All ages will find this an enjoyable read.

NASA Quest's Learning Technologies Channel explores the roles of Polaris and the Big and Little Dippers in guiding slaves to freedom. Activities for ages 8–16 investigate the use of stars and constellations for navigation.

Space.com presents articles for viewers ages 12 and older about the ecliptic and zodiac, how and why the night sky changes, a sky calendar with Moon phases and celestial events, and much more.

In his Bad Astronomy site, Phil Plait tackles the misconception that the North Star is the brightest in the night sky. He shares the reasons why Polaris is called the “North Star,” why it is the only star that appears to remain stationary, and why it is so important to us! Young adults and adults will enjoy exploring all the sections of this site.

The Students for the Information and Development of Space site offers a two-page brief of all the vital stats for Polaris including spectral type, distance, declination, and much more. Recommended for adult and young adult sky enthusiasts.

Alaska's state flag shows the seven stars of the Big Dipper and Polaris, a design created in 1926 by 13-year-old Benny Benson.These photographs from Skychasers and Richard Wainscoat offer fascinating and informative images of “star trails” time-elapsed photographs of stars traversing the night sky that viewers of all ages will enjoy.

Astronomy in Your Hands offers a multitude of lesson plans and activities for ages 10–15 that explore the North Star as a compass and explain why stars appear to turn around the celestial pole.

An Observation of the Night Sky is a user-friendly site designed for amateur astronomers of all ages. Included are skycharts, news features, images, great galactic links, and tutorials (one with an in-depth explanation of the celestial sphere with illustrations). A site worth visiting!

With just a click of the mouse, the Skymapper site allows amateur astronomers of all ages see a display of their own sky at any time of day or night, take a cosmic quiz, or peruse space news and views .

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Last updated
May 21, 2007