Try This: Make Your Own Constellation

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Try This: Make Your Own Constellation

This #SMOatHome is part of Space Day presented by Allied Arts!

For thousands of years, people looked up to the night sky. On a clear night, it was not just stars that they saw. They saw pictures created by connecting lines between the stars, much like a connect-the-dots puzzle. Inventing these star pictures was a way of telling stories and explaining what was happening in the night sky. Today we call these star pictures constellations.

With a few simple supplies and some imagination, you can make your own night sky of stars and create your constellations in the comfort of your own home.

Try This: Make Your Own Constellation

Here’s what you need:

  • A handful of dry beans or lentils, any kind will work. In a pinch, you could even use dry rice, oatmeal, or O-shaped cereals 
  • Black construction paper
  • A white pencil or crayon

 

Here’s what to do:

1. Sprinkle a handful of beans across the dark paper. These will be the “stars” of your night sky.

2. Use the white pencil or crayon to circle the “stars” that will make up a constellation. Can you imagine them making a picture? 

3. Connect the circles with lines to show each constellation. What is it? Can you give your constellations names?

4. Use more lines to further make the constellations look like what they represent and tell stories. You can even remove the beans, or “stars,” to make an entirely new night sky!

Take it further:

Go outside when the sky is clear and try to create your own constellations in the real nighttime sky. What do you see? Using a star chart, either a physical one or online, look up the current constellations in the sky. How did your star patterns differ from the ones on the star chart? How were they similar?