constellation umbrella

Create your own planetarium with an umbrella full of constellations. Find them, mark them, and save them to look at again another day.

What you need:

  • A clear night when the moon is invisible or very small
  • Black umbrella
  • White chalk
  • Star chart

Step 1: Open the umbrella, and hold it over your head.

Step 2: Point the tip of the umbrella at the North Star. (Use a star chart to find the North Star.)

Step 3: Look up at the underside of the umbrella. You may see the stars shining through.

Step 4: Use white chalk to mark on the umbrella each place where you see a star. (This will be easier if someone else holds the umbrella for you.) If you can't see the stars through the umbrella, just look in the sky and mark the stars in the same positions as you see them in the sky.

Step 5: When you've marked all the stars you can see, take the umbrella inside. Compare your marks to a star chart. What stars and constellations did you mark?

Step 6: Draw lines connecting the constellations, and label them with their names.