Follow the Stars

Because Earth revolves around the Sun, the Big Dipper is in a different position in the sky at the same time each night. In this activity, you will record how Earth's revolution around the Sun changes the appearance of the night sky.

Materials

The night sky and crescent moon through a window.

Procedure

With an adult, observe the night sky from the same place at the same time every third night for two weeks. Each night, draw what you see on a piece of paper. Include the position of a constellation and the Moon. Also, draw the shape of the Moon. Ask an adult to help you describe the constellation you see and to identify the phase of the Moon. Record your data in your notebook.

Results

Review your drawings and your notes. How much did the objects in the sky seem to change position over the two-week period? Were you able to tell where the Sun was by looking at the lighted part of the Moon? Did the constellation change position over time? You might want to continue your observations for a month to better see how the Earth's revolution around the Sun changes the view of the night sky.