Seeing Stars: At-Home Astronomy Activities from Giant Magellan Telescope

McDonald Observatory

As the world faces the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, those of all ages are trying to find fun ways to continue learning at home. Luckily, astronomy is the perfect activity to do from the comfort of your own couch or backyard.

Together with their partner institutions, the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMTO), the global team of scientists working to build one of the world’s largest telescopes, compiled astronomy-related activities to keep everyone at home shooting for the stars:

  1. Backyard Stargazing: Check out daily stargazing tips from The McDonald Observatory or NASA Science. If you keep an eye out, you may see the brilliant “evening star,” Venus, in the western sky or the International Space Station going over your city.
  2. Tune In: Get to know the cosmos by tuning in to the Planetary Society’s weekly podcast, Planetary Radio, with Mat Kaplan, showcasing space science and exploration and even the GMT!
  3. Virtual Learning: Dive into Arizona State University’s Infiniscope website or ASU For You, a learning resource center offering digital education assets for both learners and educators. The Smithsonian Learning Lab also offers digital learning materials, including the Astronomy Learning Resources, sourced from across the Smithsonian’s 19 museums and nine major research centers.
  4. Activities Reimagined Online: Take a virtual visit to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, or spin through the Space and Stargazing collection at the The Royal Museums Greenwich, which includes their 2020 guide on how and when to watch a meteor shower and how to get started in astrophotography.

If you want to read the full tips online, you check out the GMT blog post here.



The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

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