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Sun and Other Stars Activity for Kids

Planisphere DIY

  • Duration: 30-60 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: $0 to $5

Build a tool to determine which stars and constellations are visible on any given night!

Material List


  • 1Carefully cut out the star wheel and planisphere pieces.
  • 2Fold the planisphere along the dotted lines and tape the edges in place to form a pocket.
  • 3Slide the star wheel into the pocket so that the stars are visible.
  • 4Align the current date on the star wheel with the current time on the planisphere.
  • 5The stars visible on that day and time will be shown.
  • Important Note:The planisphere provided here assumes you are in the USA. If you are somewhere else, please print a modified planisphere from this web page after entering your latitude.

How It Works

Planet Earth rotates on its axis every 24 hours so we can constantly see a different part of the sky. We also orbit the sun once a year, and that changes which constellations we can see. The planisphere tells you which constellations are visible on any given date and time. As we learn in the lesson about the sun and other stars, the distance and size of a star determine how bright they appear to us in the night sky. Our sun is a star too! It is much closer to us than other stars so it can warm the Earth, and it makes patterns like day and night.

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