“The order in the world and the universe is as likely to have been caused by a random big bang, as an explosion in a print shop is likely to produce a complete unabridged dictionary.” ~Albert Einstein
Astronomy is the study of space and the changes that take place in and around all objects moving through space. It’s more than just Earth and our Solar System. The study of astronomy covers every planet, object, and bit of energy flowing through the universe. For an excellent introduction to the science of space, see:
COSMOS4KIDS.COM is a free website that teaches the basics of astronomy and space exploration to all ages. It has sections on the universe, galaxies, systems, the Solar System, and space missions. Activities and quizzes are included.
Astronomy Movies – A selection of free Astronomy movies for kids. In order to successfully complete each online video, your student must watch it, and then answer the quiz questions with 80% or higher accuracy.
KidsAstronomy – This astronomy website is packed with games, activities, fun facts, and resources to teach children about the exciting world of outer space.
A collection of astronomy and space science links, based on state standards for middle school students.
- Star Types
- Solar Eclipse
- Lunar Eclipse
- Black Holes
Solar System Projects
- Sun and rainbows
- Observing Venus
- Observing Mars
- Phases of the Moon
- Eclipse of the Moon
- Seeing an Eclipse
- The Earth is round
- Seeing Mars
- Seeing Venus
Aeronautics & Basics of Space Flight - This online tutorial from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech is popular with high school and college students, and people everywhere who are interested in interplanetary space flight. Basics of Space Flight is intended to be used online via the worldwide web. There are interactive quizzes to let you check your own progress. No records are kept, nor does Caltech offer academic credit for this training.
Cosmology and Astronomy – Videos attempting to grasp a little bit about our Universe. (From Khan Academy, a not-for-profit with the goal of providing a world-class education to anyone anywhere, completely free of charge.)
Earth & Space Science – Parallel Alternative Strategies for Students (PASS) volumes written by Florida educators are free, ready-to-use resources in PDF format that may be reproduced or used as a workbook. The student volumes are presented in an easy-to-understand format for students seeking a standard diploma.
Exploration of the Earth’s Magnetosphere – An educational website by Dr. David P. Stern and Dr. Mauricio Peredo that can be used as a complete self-contained course. Each item is linked to either the next item in sequence, or else to the related historical overview. The first 20 sections or so, in particular, introduce the user to the related physics and astronomy, and are thus a useful supplement to high school or freshman physics. They cover magnetism, ions, electrons, plasma, energetic particles and a section on the Sun. The descriptions are non-mathematical but quite detailed.
From Stargazers to Starships – A complete online high school level course by Dr. David P. Stern on astronomy, Newtonian mechanics, the Sun and related physics, spaceflight and spacecraft. Also included are a Spanish translation, 46 lesson plans, a short but complete math course (algebra + trig + logarithms), teachers’ guides, glossary, timelines, 419 answered questions by users (current tally), over 100 problems to solve, and more. The course is described in “Using Space to Teach Physics” in “The Physics Teacher,” February 1999, p. 102.
Amazing Space – Explore the universe, see pictures of celestial wonders, find answers to cosmic questions.
American Association of Amateur Astronomers – Lots of information and links for amateur astronomers.
Apples to Orbits: the Gravity Story – A comprehensive and interactive learning guide to one of the most basic forces in the universe.
Astronomy Cafe – Dr. Sten Odenwald’s articles, resources, and FAQ archive of over 3000 questions on space and astronomy from A to Z. The Solar System, Planet-X, Stars, Galaxies, Black Holes, Big Bang Cosmology, Origin of the Universe, General and Special Relativity, Space Travel, Space Physics, Careers in Astronomy, Telescopes and many other topics, too!
Astronomy Picture of the Day – Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
Auroras: Paintings in the Sky – What are auroras? What do they look like? What makes them happen? Where can you see them? An illustrated journey that attempts to answer these questions and more! Plus a collection of aurora links and teacher resources.
Bad Astronomy – Myths and misconceptions in astronomy and related topics. Includes Bad Astronomy movie reviews!
A Brief History of Astronomy – Ancient Astronomy from the dawn of the history to collapse of the Roman Empire; Medieval Astronomy from the 5th century to 15th century; Astronomy of the Renaissance from Copernican Revolution to the middle of 17th century; Modern Astronomy from Newton’s theory of universal gravitation to the end of the 19th century; and Astronomy of the 20th Century from Einstein’s Theory of Relativity until now.
Build a Solar System – Make a scale model of the Solar System and learn the REAL definition of SPACE.
Classical Astronomy – Classical Astronomy represents the traditional study of the sky as it has been done for centuries. Essentially, the starry sky offers an excellent opportunity to observe logic and order applied in a natural system. This represents a golden opportunity for Christian homeschoolers, who respect God’s creation and seek to rediscover the lost traditions of a bygone era. Jay Ryan’s Classical Astronomy web site is dedicated to helping the next generation rediscover our lost astronomical traditions.
Cosmic Mystery Tour – A site dedicated to Cosmology, the field of science that studies the universe as a whole – its entire history and all that it contains. Find out what scientists know today about the origin of the universe and how advances in technology have changed our understanding of space.
Discover Space: Ask an Astronaut – Did you ever want to know what microgravity feels like, or how astronauts eat and sleep in space? Here is your chance!
The Hubble Site – Hubble space telescope history, facts, and photos.
Hubble Telescope Images – This site shares amazing graphics and images of solar system objects from the Space Telescope Science Institute.
Imagine the Universe! – This site from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is intended for students age 14 and up, and for anyone interested in learning about our universe. Enjoy your cosmic journey!
Mars – An article with interesting facts and informative links.
Mars Exploration Homepage – This site presents detailed information on the Mars Exploration Program, along with a photo gallery, a history of previous missions, and updated information on current and future expeditions.
Meteor Showers Online – Gary Kronk’s meteor shower info site.
NASA – NASA’s official site. Click on “For Educators” or “For Students.” NASA’s Education Materials Finder will help teachers locate resources that can be used in the classroom. Users may search by keywords, grade level, product type and subject. With hundreds of publications and Web sites indexed, the finder is the best way to locate NASA educational resources. Need Some Quick Links to NASA Information? Search this alphabetical list for items of interest to educators. Locate top level sites for interesting topics, education pages for NASA missions, and other hard-to-find pages that offer resources for educators. Students can find materials sorted by grade level, or play games at the NASA Kids’ Club.
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory – Space, Stars, Mars, Earth, Planets, and more – bring the Universe to you! Click on the “Education” tab to access information for students and teachers. Includes games, activities, homework help, learning resources, career guidance, and in-depth projects for all ages.
NASA’s Space Place – Lots of space fun for kids including games, puzzles, quizzes, activities, coloring, fun facts, videos, pictures, and more for learning about space, sun, earth, solar system, people and technology. A great site!
NASA Space Shuttle Virtual Tour – Now you can see what the technicians and engineers see as they work on a Space Shuttle preparing for launch. The STS-90 Virtual Tour takes you through the Space Shuttle Columbia as it is being prepared for launch in the Orbiter Processing Facility at Kennedy Space Center. Tour in the cockpit, go through the airlock and see the inside of the Neurolab payload.
The Nine Planets: A Multimedia tour of the Solar System – An overview of the history, mythology, and current scientific knowledge of each planet and the major moons. Each page has text and NASA images, some have sounds and movies, most provide references to additional related information.
Orion Telescopes – Includes an astronomy learning center, how to choose a telescope, a monthly sky chart, and more.
Scale Model of the Solar System – Visualizing scale and distance using readily available objects such as beach balls, oranges, peas, etc.
Simulated Scale Model of the Solar System – Interactive solar system simulator.
Size Scales in Astronomy – Here are some demonstrations for use in the classroom that should help put the sizes and distances of astronomical objects into a more understandable perspective.
Sky & Telescope - Magazine archives, astronomy basics, interactive sky chart, resources.
SkyWise – SkyWise is a series of colorful, educational, comic strips about astronomy. Originally published in Sky & Telescope magazine from 1997-2001, they are grouped by subject and order of appearance.
Solar System Simulator – Ever wondered Mars looks like as seen from Venus? This simulator from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA allows you to view any planet as seen from any other planet.
Space.com – The world’s premiere space media company.
Space Wander – Take an amazing virtual space trip. You can fly to Mars and through the Universe! It’s free and fun for all ages!
Spacecraft Design 101 – This introductory article on spacecraft design includes a student space station design project and informative links.
Star Child – A learning center for young astronomers. Choice of levels and activities for different ages. Questions & answers; printable pages. If you’re looking for grade school level astronomy information, this is the place!
StarDate Online – This site contains all the information you need to know to become an amateur astronomer.
The Thousand-Yard Model or, The Earth as a Peppercorn – An exercise that accurately demonstrates the relative size and spacing of the planets – to visualize how BIG our Solar System is!
Virtual Tour of the Sun – The duration of this journey is about 20 minutes. It shows spectacular images and MPEG animations of solar flares, sun spots, magnetic fields and solar eclipses, and explains a lot about the science of the sun and the influence it has on the solar system.
Yerkes Observatory Virtual Tour – Behind-the-scenes tour of a 100-year-old observatory, home of the largest refractor telescope in the world.
Aviation & Aerospace
If you like learning about space travel and exploration, you might also enjoy learning about aviation and aerospace engineering.
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