Would you like to see the moon and stars up close? At Powell Observatory, kids can view the stars, moon and planets from both large and small telescopes. Families can also visit with local astronomers to ask questions and learn about the nighttime sky.
Before Your Visit:
- Check the forecast – you will need a clear night with minimal clouds in order to view through the telescope.
- Bring a jacket and bug spray.
- There are different themes throughout the year so visit the Powell Observatory website to decide which program would be most interesting. Young kids might enjoy a night when they feature the moon, while older kids may enjoy the topic of Venus or galaxies.
Explore Powell Observatory:
- You will listen to a short presentation on the topic of the evening (note: the info may be a little confusing to younger kids, but most presentations will have slides or photos the kids can view).
- See what's in the night sky by using one of the largest telescopes in a 5-state area! The observatory needs to be kept dark, and you will need to climb a tall staircase/ladder. Scientists will explain the process but some kids are not ready for the darkness.
- Make sure to view the stars using the 2 smaller telescopes located outside of the observatory. They are usually pointed at a different object in the sky and have stools for kids to stand on for viewing.
- Stop and visit with the scientists and astronomers who bring their personal telescopes. They enjoy talking to kids and answering questions.
- Be prepared for a great conversation on the way home! You might view a galaxy, an old star who’s light has gone out or other amazing things. Kids will come up with lots of questions – like “Are there people living on other planets?"
- Play some fun online astronomy games.
- Find answers to questions like "Where is the North Star?" and "How many constellations exist?"
For some fun activities and books, check our 'Space Day' guide.