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Observe Astronomy with Your Own Tools Science Projects (15 results)

Explore astronomy by going outside for hands-on experiments with tools, such as a telescope, light meter, or a digital camera. With these measurements, make graphs or do geometry to find the brightness of the moon, the size of the earth, or more.

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Science Fair Project Idea
One of my favorite things to do when I was a kid was to go outside and look at the stars. As an adult, I moved to a major city and the stars seemed to vanish from the sky. Where did they go? Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
Everyone loves looking at the full moon, but are these nights the best time to go stargazing? Can the moon interfere with certain astronomical observations? Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
Do you ever wonder how pirates sailed the seven seas? The two most important things a pirate could have (besides a parrot and big hat) were a compass and an accurate watch. Ancient navigators didn't know about compasses, so how did they know where they were going? Could they have used the stars to know which way to go? Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
Do you like to look up into the night sky? There are so many stars, it can be mind boggling! Some ancient people marked time by the changes in star patterns. We still use changes in constellation patterns to mark astronomical time. Do constellations change more in one hour, one day, one month, or one year? Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
Sometimes a full moon can be so bright, you can walk around in the dark without a flashlight. How much brighter is a full moon than the other phases of the moon? How is the brightness of the moon measured? Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
Make a pinhole projector (see Measuring the Diameter of the Sun and the Moon). Use the pinhole to project an image of the Sun onto a wall or a piece of paper. Do you notice any dark spots on the projected image? Trace the projected image and count the dark spots. Use your pinhole projector to make images of the Sun at the same time of day for several consecutive days. How does the pattern of spots change? Can you use your data to figure out how fast the Sun rotates? Sunspot activity rises… Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
You can measure the diameter of the Sun (and Moon) with a pinhole and a ruler! All you need to know is some simple geometry and the average distance between the Earth and Sun (or Moon). An easy way to make a pinhole is to cut a square hole (2-3 cm across) in the center of a piece of cardboard. Carefully tape a piece of aluminum foil flat over the hole. Use a sharp pin or needle to poke a tiny hole in the center of the foil. Use the pinhole to project an image of the Sun onto a wall or piece… Read more
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
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 Science Journal app with your smartphone or tablet to discover the key relationship between brightness and distance. Read more
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
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Free science fair projects.