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  • Daniella Morrone

Building on astronomy fascination post-eclipse

Leading up to April 8, 2024, we all became fascinated by astronomy. The total solar eclipse posed a unique opportunity to bring our Earth-Moon-Sun system, the Solar System, and the astronomy as a whole to the fore in education. As the fascination might be fading in the weeks following the total eclipse, we want to highlight a few ways you can keep the interest in astronomy piqued in your classrooms and with your groups.

Looking at the sky

The eclipse was the perfect occasion to turn our gaze to the sky. But even without such a rare and unforgettable phenomenon, the sky is beautiful and there's a lot to observe! By simply looking up regularly for a few minutes, you and your students can see many things: apparent motion of the Sun due to the Earth's rotation, the Moon and its phases as well as bright stars and constellations.

Don't know where to start to invite your students to discover the sky? Here are some resources for you:

  • Looking Up – (primary and secondary students)

    • Looking Up is an activity guide that presents eight simple yet engaging activities all focused on helping students discover the sky, both during the day and at night.

  • Stellarium Web - (primary and secondary students)

    • Stellarium is a free virtual planetarium tool which can create a realistic sky at any time in the past, present, or future, from any location on Earth. Use our 3-min video tutorial to help you learn how to use it.

Every winter, we offer an observation challenge. Make sure to sign up for our newsletter to receive the information when we launch the next edition!

Dig deeper into the Solar System

You probably talked a lot about the Sun, the Moon and the Earth for the eclipse. Are your students interested in digging a bit deeper?

  • Scale Model of the Solar System – (primary and secondary students)

    • What would the Solar System look like if it was scaled down to fit on a map of your neighbourhood? How big would the orbits of the planets be if the Sun was the size of an orange? Our Solar System interactive activity allows you to create models of the Solar System with your students.

  • The Solar Cycle – (secondary students)

    • The eclipse and the recent auroras were a perfect occasion to talk about our Sun. Now, you can learn more about it with our Solar Cycle activity guide. Using real satellite images of the Sun, six activities are investigated in this guide, covering topics such as the differences between astronomical observations at multiple wavelengths and terrestrial phenomena related to solar activity such as the aurora.

Curious about space in general?

  • Astro at Home – (primary and secondary students)

    • Astro at Home is a YouTube talk series we created in response to school closures during the pandemic. The videos span a variety of topics ranging from the exploration of Mars to black holes, all presented by a diverse group of astronomers.

These resources are available free on our Resources page, providing an amazing opportunity to continue the astronomy fascination in your classrooms following the eclipse! 


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