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Book of StarGazing

Go to the Table of Contents for this booklet

Objects of Special Interest

There are lots of very special objects in the night sky and in this chapter I will look at three that are visible to the naked eye.

The Andromeda Galaxy

The Milky Way Galaxy is a galaxy that we live in. It is a spiral galaxy composed of millions of stars that revolve around its center. There is another galaxy that is very much the same and it is our nearest neighbor of a galaxy. This galaxy is called the Andromeda Galaxy. On a clear and moonless night you can see it in the constellation of Andromeda. To the naked eye it looks like a small puff of cotton. The illustrations below show a spiral galaxy and the location of the Andromeda galaxy.



Location of the andromeda galaxy


The Hercules Star Cluster

A star cluster is a gathering of stars into a group. This group can be a loose gathering of only a few stars or it can be an enormous globular formation of thousands of stars like the Hercules Star Cluster.

The Hercules star cluster


The Orion Nebula

A nebula is a gigantic cloud of gas in space. Some of these clouds have stars in them which cause them to glow and shine. Others appear simply as a black patch. To the naked eye the Orion Nebula can be seen as a faint fuzzy patch around the center star of Orion's sword. A telescope or binoculars will reveal it to be a large, intricate and multi-colored.

Illustration of Orion


NextContinue on to Making a Telescope

Astronomy and telescope related books & products

Star Wheel

Night Sky Star Wheel





Make a telescope kit

Refractor Telescope Kit

Build-It Yourself! -- It?s so easy, now even an eight-year-old can build an 18" long, 3X refractor telescope in less than an hour. -- Includes objective lens, eye lens, glare stops, kraftboard tubes, instructions and an Edmund Star and Planet Locator. Finished product is powerful enough to show moon craters, Jupiter?s moons and many stars not visible to the naked eye. -- For ages 8 and up. --



Astronomy for Kids

Janice VanCleave's Astronomy for Every Kid: 101 Easy Experiments that Really Work (Science for Every Kid Series)

Why do planets spin? How hot is the Sun? What keeps the Moon in orbit around the Earth? What are Saturn's rings made of? What's a black hole in space? Now you can discover the answers to these and other fascinating questions about basic astronomy. In Astronomy for Every Kid you'll learn about the constellations using a shoe box planetarium. You'll chart the movement of the stars with nothing but a string, a marker, and a nail. And you'll use a toy magnet to simulate the Earth's protective force field. Each of the 101 experiments is broken down into its purpose, a list of materials, step-by-step instructions, expected results, and an easy to understand explanation. Every activity has been pretested and can be performed safely and inexpensively in the classroom or at home. Also available in this series from Janice VanCleave: Biology for Every Kid Chemistry for Every Kid Dinosaurs for Every Kid Earth Science for Every Kid Geography for Every Kid Geometry for Every Kid The Human Body for Every Kid Math for Every Kid Physics for Every Kid

The Night Sky

A Child's Introduction to the Night Sky: The Story of the Stars, Planets, and Constellations--and How You Can Find Them in the Sky

Children eight and up will enjoy this conversational but information-packed introduction to astronomy and stargazing, which includes the achievements of the great scientists, the history of space exploration, the story of our solar system, the myths behind the constellations, and how to navigate the night sky. Whimsical color illustrations on every page and handy definitions and sidebars help engage younger readers and develop their interest. The special star wheel helps locate stars and planets from any location at any time of year. This is the third in Black Dog & Leventhal's successful series including The Story of the Orchestra and A Child's Introduction to Poetry.

Looking for some Great Astronomy stuff like telescopes, lenses and science projects? Edmund Scientifics has it all.