Over the course of a year, an estimated 6,000 stars can be see with the naked eye, from a very dark site, of course. But naked eye observations include more than stars. Comets, meteors, satellites and aurora are just some of the exciting objects that can be seen during the night. A fabulous aurora can mesmorize one for minutes or even hours! (It can also ruin a perfectly decent night of deep sky observing but we're not going there!
Astra's naked eye observing list also includes planets, constellations and asterism. An asterism is a group of stars that remind observers of certain other objects, but are not officially recognized constellations. Learning the constellations, by the way, can be a lot of fun. It takes a little determination, star charts and patience. For learning the sky, it is helpful to identify patterns, use your own triangles, squares and other geometric shapes to find you way in the night sky.
In addition to naked eye night observing, observing the sky during the daytime is also rewarding. Sun dogs, solar coronas, rainbows can be beautiful and exciting to observe. In addition to the usual cloud formations , thunderstorms, and lunar observations, there can also be fireballs bright enough to be seen during the daytime. The sky is the limit!
Astra has chosen a sampling of some of the naked eye observations you can make. To best enjoy the challenge, download the pdf document at Astra's: CELESTIAL OBSERVING CHALLENGE. In addition to observing forms, there is also a certificate of completion for those using the program for their youth group or astronomy club.
Astra's Celestial Challenge - Links to other groups
Naked Eye Group
|Venus||The Milky Way|
|Jupiter||The Great Rift|
|Rainbow - extra credit|
ASTRA'S STARGATE OBSERVING CHALLENGE
|Observation Report Form|
|The Milky Way||_______||_______________________________________________|
Last Modified 01/24/2023