The night sky off the North Shore of Lake Superior

Night Sky Scavenger Hunt

Activity Instructions

Back to Statewide Star Party Schedule of Events

Objectives

To explore the night sky by looking for different objects that are visible with the naked eye or binoculars/telescope.

Suggested Age Range

Ages 5+

Activity Level

Beginner to Intermediate

Activity Duration

10–20 minutes

Materials

  1. Scavenger hunt sheet
  2. Pencil
  3. November star map
  4. Red flashlight (optional)
  5. Binoculars or a telescope (optional)

Questions

  1. What’s the brightest star you can see tonight? Check your star map to see what it’s called!
  2. Look for a faint star cluster in the constellation Taurus. How many stars can you make out in it? 
  3. Look through a pair of binoculars or telescope. What can you see? 
  4. Scan the sky for a moving object. Can you find a satellite flying above? 
  5. How many stars can you count in the constellation Orion?
  6. Find the planet Mars. What direction is it in?
  7. At this time of the year, the Milky Way band stretches from West to East, directly above us in the sky. Are your skies dark enough to see it? Sketch it, or what it would look like, on the sky map below.
  8. Is your zodiac sign visible during this time of the year? If so, find it in the sky and name it below! 
  9. There are 5 planets visible in the sky tonight; 3 after sunset, and 2 more right before sunrise.  But there are two more that can only be seen through powerful telescopes. Can you figure out which planets are visible with the naked eye and which you need a telescope to see?

Zodiac Signs & Dates

Aquarius January 20 – February 18
Pisces February 19 – March 20
Aries March 21 – April 19
Taurus April 20 – May 20
Gemini May 21 – June 21
Cancer June 22 – July 22
Leo July 23 – August 22
Virgo August 23 – September 22
Libra September 23 – October 23
Scorpio October 24 – November 21
Sagittarius November 22 – December 21
Capricorn December 22 – January 19

Note: Below are the different times of the year in which each zodiac is visible at night:

Leo: Spring – Summer
Virgo: Spring – Summer
Libra: Spring – Summer
Scorpio:Summer
Sagittarius: Summer – Fall
Capricorn: Fall – Winter
Aquarius: Fall – Winter
Pisces: Fall – Winter
Aries: Fall – Winter
Taurus: Fall – Winter
Gemini: Winter – Spring
Cancer: Winter – Spring

 

Download Scavenger Hunt Here