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Challenge: Explore the Sky 2022-2023

Our annual Observational Challenge is back!

During the months of December 2022 and January 2023, we invite you to discover the sky. There are so many beautiful things to see when you take the time to look up! With this challenge, you will have the chance to observe the Moon in several of its phases, the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Mars and Venus, and to identify several stars and constellations!

Here you will find information on the different observations to be made and the best times to do them.


Register for our challenge activity to receive additional educational material that will allow you to complete this Challenge with your students and learn more about the celestial objects and phenomena. You will also be introduced to exoplanets! This activity is presented in collaboration with

You can download the Challenge Sheet to note your observations. If you're lucky with the weather and manage to fill it, you can use another one or any simple observational journal.

Click the image above to download the Challenge Sheet (PDF).

The Proposed Observations

NOTE: These observations are visible throughout southern Canada and at similar latitudes (such as Europe). Some of them could be a challenge under more northern latitudes. Contact us if you have any questions!

Click on the arrow of each item to see the image and the description!

1 - First Quarter Moon

2 - The planets Jupiter and Saturn

3 - Full Moon

4 - The planet Mars near Orion, Aldebaran and the Pleiades

5 - The Summer Triangle: the stars Deneb, Vega and Altair

6 - Last Quarter Moon

7 - A sunset

8 - The constellations Cassiopeia and Ursa Major

9 - Crescent Moon and Earthshine

10 - Venus near Saturn at the end of January

We created a short video to show you the planets and the Moon during the holiday break:

This activity is part of a full teacher's guide, currently in development, called Exoplanets in the classroom. It is a project led by the Institute for Research on Exoplanets at the University of Montréal, in collaboration with Discover the Universe, École en réseau and l’Association pour l’enseignement de la science de la technologie au Québec, and funded by the program NovaScience from the Ministère de l'Économie et de l'Innovation du Québec.


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