7 Quick Astronomy Questions and Answers for Kids
Astronomy is the study of celestial objects outside of our planet’s atmosphere. It can be a great subject to explore with your child and help pique his or her interest in space exploration and science. To help you get the discussion started, ask your child a few questions about our galaxy. We’ve provided the answers below!
You can use our constellation projector craft as a fun way to illustrate the astronomy lesson.
Download and print the constellation templates, and then click the link below to create your own star projector with your child.
A Constellation Question-and-Answer Session
What is a star?
Stars are formed from clusters of gas and dust, which give off heat and light.
Why are some stars different colors?
The different colors of stars indicate how much heat a star gives off.
- Red stars are the coolest of the stars.
- Yellow stars, like our sun, are medium-heat stars.
- White and blue stars are the hottest.
How large is our sun?
Our sun is referred to as a “dwarf star,” which, in comparison to “giants” and “supergiants,” is a very small star. It appears larger than the rest because it is so close to our planet.
How many stars can we see?
On a clear night, and with very good eyesight, a person may only be able to see 2,000 to 2,500 stars at one time, even though it may look like more.
What is a constellation?
Constellations are groups of stars that look like an animal, a person, or an object when connected together by specific imaginary lines and paths.
What is the history behind constellations?
Out of the 88 modern constellations we have today, many originate from the ancient Greeks, although the true “inventors” of constellations are not known. Archaeological studies have found possible cave paintings of astronomical symbols in France. Some scientists even believe that Babylonians and Sumerians are the original founders and passed along their knowledge of constellations to the ancient Greeks.
What are constellations used for?
Constellations have been used throughout the years for many different purposes, including:
- Reminders for farmers to plant and harvest crops.
- Navigation through deserts and oceans.
- Characters for stories about heroes and mythical creatures.
These are just some of the way constellations have been used throughout the years.
Share these fun facts and the craft activity with your child. Let us know what other topics and activities get your child excited about science in the comments below!
“The Constellations,” International Astronomical Union, http://www.iau.org/public/themes/constellations.
“Make a Star Finder,” NASA, http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/starfinder/en.
“Greek Mythology and the Constellations,” Western Washington University, http://www.wwu.edu/skywise/greekmyth.html.
“Constellation Guide,” StarDate, https://stardate.org/nightsky/constellations.
“10 Cool Things about Stars,” EarthSky, http://earthsky.org/space/ten-things-you-may-not-know-about-stars#millions.