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Stargazing From Home With Kids: The Possibilities are Astronomical

By Evan Dunn 

Consider building a DIY observatory

If you find that your family is really into stargazing, and you have good enough conditions on your property—and a bit of extra space—you may want to build a backyard mini-observatory. It doesn’t have to be grand, and it is a fun family project that lets you keep your telescope set up and calibrated and stop straight-line light from polluting your view of the sky.

Perhaps most importantly, it provides a place out of the elements, especially appreciated in winter. So, you’re not standing out in the snow, but instead, you’re in your homemade observatory, in relative comfort with snacks, drinks, star maps, a notebook, and other things within arm’s reach. Check with your local building code and permitting department before you start building.

Soar higher into astronomy

Image of New Horizons, the first mission to the Pluto System and the Kuiper Belt.

Look on the internet for cool websites your kids will want to visit and revisit. Keep track of websites that are age-appropriate to your child. Some even include lesson plans to help them build their astronomy knowledge. If you want to set up lesson plans of your own, look at NASA’s education website. NASA also has an Astronomy Picture of the Day. Not only does that site feature an amazing photo every day, but it includes information about the picture’s subject.

Whether you go all-out with building an observatory or just do occasional star-gazing during meteor showers, you’ll have a newfound appreciation for the world beyond your own, and have a new activity to enjoy with your children.

Read more from Evan Dunn at porch.com

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