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Astronomy Project Ideas (38 results)

Astronomy is science that will challenge your imagination. How many stars in a galaxy? How many galaxies in the known universe? How many strange worlds are out there on other planets, orbiting other stars, and what are they like? Is there life on planets besides Earth? The distances are mind-boggling; the numbers are immense. Explore more of the universe with these astronomy science and engineering projects.

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Science Fair Project Idea
Here's an astronomy project idea from Dr. James Pierce, a professor in the Astronomy Program at Minnesota State University, Mankato: "Determine the length of twilight at different times of the year by observing the time at which certain bright stars first appear and comparing with the sunset time. Beware of variations due to stars appearing at different altitudes. Try using Polaris as a standard. Also note the time at which automatic streetlights turn on. Determine how soon after sunset stars… Read more
Astro_p024
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever looked up at the stars at night and wondered how fast they were moving or how far away they were? By studying how the brightness of a star changes with distance, you can answer those questions. In this astronomy science project, you'll create a model of starlight and use Google's app with your smartphone or tablet to discover the key relationship between brightness and distance. Read more
Astro_p034
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Globular clusters, compact groups of about a million stars that move around together in galaxies, are among the oldest objects found in the universe. Since they are found in most galaxies and since they've been around for so long, globular clusters have a lot to tell us about what the universe looks like now and how it got that way. Is our Milky Way Galaxy just like all the other galaxies out there? What are galaxies made of? What can we learn about the universe from looking at galaxies? … Read more
Astro_p016
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Computer skills, including basic spreadsheet skills (Excel for example)
Material Availability You will need a spreadsheet program which can open Excel files to do this science fair project.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
How big a ruler would you need to measure the circumference of the Earth? Did you know that you can do it with a yardstick? (And you won't have to travel all the way around the world!) Read more
Astro_p018
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites You will need to understand some basic principles of geometry for this project. You will need a friend or relative in a distant city to make a shadow measurement for you on the same day you make yours. Both of you will need clear weather.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Scientists have known for hundreds of years that sunspot activity waxes and wanes over a cycle that lasts approximately 11 years. In the 1970's, scientists discovered that the sun periodically blasts electrified gases into space, in huge outbursts called 'coronal mass ejections,' or CMEs. This project asks the question: do CMEs follow the solar sunspot cycle? Read more
Astro_p021
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Get good photographs of the Moon showing lots of craters and count how many craters you find in a range of diameter classes. One useful source is the (Kuiper et al, 2006). Make a histogram that shows the distribution of diameters. Most of these craters were formed during the first billion years of the Moon's formation, but you should confirm that this is true for the the Moon areas you've selected in your photographs by doing background research. Is cratering uniform across the surface of the… Read more
Astro_p029
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
Did you know that in addition to the Sun and planets, our solar system is filled with millions of asteroids, which are chunks of rock left over from the early days of its formation, or from collisions between larger objects like planets? Agencies like NASA track asteroids, not only because they might pose a threat to humanity by colliding with Earth, but because they can provide us with information about the history of our solar system, and even be useful for mining raw materials in space! In… Read more
Astro_p039
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites In order to do this science project, you should either already have knowledge of basic statistical analysis (histograms and scatter plots) or have a willingness to familiarize yourself with them.
Material Availability This science project requires a computer with internet access and a spreadsheet program like Microsoft® Excel® or OpenOffice™ Calc.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Want to stretch your imagination? One good way is to try to imagine how far it is to a distant star. How much farther away is it than the moon is from the earth? How much farther away than the earth is from the sun? How long would it take to get there? In this project, you'll learn one way of measuring the distance without leaving Earth. Read more
Astro_p019
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites You will need a telescope for this project. Experience with geometry is recommended for this project (you need to understand similar triangles).
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Sunspot activity has been monitored continuously since about 1700. The historical data shows that sunspot activity rises and falls in a roughly 11-year cycle. This project shows you how you can use both graphical and statistical analysis to look for patterns in cyclical data. Read more
Astro_p017
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Computer with Internet access and a spreadsheet program (e.g., Excel, QuattroPro), previous experience with statistics helpful
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Here's a cool project that shows you how to use images from an orbiting observatory to measure how fast the Sun rotates. Read more
Astro_p005
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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