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  • Daniella Morrone

Challenge: Explore the Sky 2023-2024

Our annual Observational Challenge is back!

During the months of December 2023 and January 2024, 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, 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.


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).

Teachers and Parents

The activity is part of a larger set of resources called Exoplanets in the Classroom (English version coming soon). We're happy to share additional resources about this activity, such as :

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!

  • Care to see the Moon? Check out 1, 3, 5, 7, or 9.

  • Or perhaps a planet? Check out 1 or 2.

  • Maybe a constellation? Check out 2, 4, or 8.

  • How about individual stars? Check out 4 or 6.

  • Or maybe a beautiful feature of the Moon or Sun? Check out 3 or 10.

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

1 - Venus meets a Waning Crescent Moon 🌘

2 - A duel for the ages: Orion vs. Jupiter

3 - Waxing Crescent Moon and Earthshine 🌒

4 - The Orion constellation, Aldebaran, and the Pleiades

5 - First Quarter Moon 🌓

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

7 - Full Moon 🌕

8 - The constellations Cassiopeia and Ursa Major

9 - Last Quarter Moon 🌗

10 - A sunset


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 Trottier 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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