Watch live astronomy cams and resources

When you look up at the sky at night, you'll probably see the moon and some stars, and you might wonder where they came from. There is a special word for learning about the stars and planets: astronomy. By studying astronomy, you can learn more about our universe and the Earth. You might not know where to start, or what you should read about, but don't worry -- there are plenty of online pages and articles about astronomy, designed just for kids like you.

Webcams

  • Watch the Northern Lights - When certain gases meet the Earth's atmosphere, the night sky can be decorated with beautiful, colorful lights. Even if you don't live in a part of the world where these lights happen, you can still see them every night on this webcam.
  • ISS HD Earth Viewing Experiment - Ever wondered what the Earth looks like from space? This webcam, hosted by the International Space Station, will show you! Remember not to go into the chat room unless you have permission from a parent.
  • Color All Sky Camera - For a second-by-second look at the night sky, check out this webcam. It's hosted by the University of Hawaii, and you can view individual pictures or play the images like a movie to see how the stars move over time.
  • Kitt Peak National Observatory - On this webcam, you can see the beautiful night sky above Arizona. The images refresh every minute, so be patient!
  • Live International Space Station Stream - Living in space sounds like a lot of fun, and with this webcam, you can take a look inside the International Space Station itself. You'll either see astronauts hard at work, or you'll see a video of the Earth as seen from space.

Photography

  • Hubble Image of Galaxies - The universe is full of many different galaxies. The Hubble telescope helps us take pictures of them so we can study them more.
  • Make a Radio Image - When scientists take pictures of stars and galaxies, they're not taking actual pictures. Instead, they read different kinds of data to figure out which colors should go where. You can try this yourself at home with this fun experiment.
  • Behind the Pictures - Hubble pictures have to be put together before we can see and enjoy them. On this page, a short film will show you how the Hubble telescope takes images and how those images are transformed into pictures.
  • Top 100 Hubble Pictures - Hubble has taken some amazing pictures over the years, but there are some that really stand out. Take a look at some of the most popular pictures of space.

Stars

  • The Stars in Orion - The sky is full of constellations, or groups of stars. Each constellation has unique stars with individual names. You can learn about the stars in the Orion constellation on this web page.
  • The Life Cycles of Stars (PDF) - Stars are born and die, just like we do. This booklet has more information on the life of a star; just be sure to check with a parent before you print it out!
  • What are Stars? - How do stars form, and what different kinds of stars are there? Find out in this video from HooplaKidz TV.
  • Is the Sun the Hottest Star? - Our sun is a star, and it's very important to Earth. However, there are much, much hotter stars than our sun! Check out these answers from the UCSB ScienceLine.
  • The Sun - Did you know that 109 Earths could fit across the sun? It's a pretty big star!
  • Why is the Sun Brighter than Other Stars? - When you think about the sun and stars, it seems like the sun must be the biggest star of all to be so bright. There's actually a cool reason why the sun seems so bright to us, and this page from Highlights Kids can tell you why. Don't forget -- never look directly at the sun. It's so bright that it can hurt our eyes pretty easily!

Moon

  • Phases of the Moon - The moon doesn't always look the same; it goes through changes that are called "phases" depending on how sunlight hits it. This page has all kinds of information about moon phases and why they happen.
  • All About the Moon - Could humans ever live on the moon? A real-life astronomer answers this question and many more, asked by kids like you.
  • The Moon - Even though we know a lot about the moon now, there are still some mysteries left to be solved. This short video will introduce you to the moon and what we know about it.
  • BiteSize Science: The Moon - The moon travels around the Earth once every twenty-eight days. Learn more about the moon, the Earth, and the sun in this short, easy lesson from BBC Kids.
  • Lunar Phase Simulator - Want to see the moon go through its phases, but don't want to wait a month? There's an online simulator that will let you watch the moon's journey around the world in only a few minutes.
  • The Phases of the Moon Game - If you'd like to learn more about the moon and why it looks different from Earth, this is the game for you. You'll be able to see how the Earth and moon move around the sun, and you can move the moon around to see how it changes phases.

Asteroids

  • What are Asteroids? - You may think that asteroids are just big rocks floating around in space, but their history is so much more interesting than that! Find out more about these space rocks on this page from Caltech University.
  • Exploring Asteroids - Landing on the Moon to study it is one thing. It's much trickier to land anything on an asteroid, so how do we learn about them? You can find out in this article.
  • Flying Space Rocks - Asteroids are only one kind of space rock. There are comets and meteors, too, and this article will explain what makes each kind special.
  • Asteroids and Asteroid Weight Calculator - Do you know how much you would weigh if you stood on an asteroid? It wouldn't be nearly as much as here on Earth!
  • Where do Asteroids Come From? - You can see asteroids in your own backyard, though you'll need patience to find them. This web page has all kinds of information on asteroids, from what they are and how to find them to how to classify them.

Planets

  • Top Mercury Facts - Mercury is one the planets in our solar system, but we don't know much about it yet. In this video, an astronomer will tell you what we do know about Mercury, along with some fun facts about the planet.
  • How Can We Find New Planets? - There are eight planets in our solar system, but many, many more out in space. In this video, Bill Nye the Science Guy explains how we can find brand new planets to explore!
  • Facts About Our Planets - This is a great webpage if you want to learn about all the planets in one place. It has facts on the solar system, the sun, and the differences between planets.
  • The Earth and Beyond - If you're having trouble remembering all the planets, or if you just want more information on them, this is the webpage for you! It's full of information about all the planets and how they move around the sun.
  • Flying from the Sun to the Stars - This fun song is a great way to remember the order of the planets. It's animated, too!
  • Outer Planets - Our solar system is divided into two groups: planets close to the sun, and planets that are far away from the sun. You can learn about the four planets that are far away from the sun with this article.
  • Your Weight on Other Worlds - Because planets have different sizes, they also have different amounts of gravity. This means that if you stand on a smaller planet than Earth, you'd weigh less, too! With this calculator, you can find out how much you'd weigh on each planet in our solar system.
  • Polkaroo's Planets - Join Polkaroo the Kangaroo as he travels through the solar system, learning about different planets. There are a bunch of videos you can watch, and when you're done, there are games to play, too.
  • Dwarf Planets - Pluto is a dwarf planet, which is a special kind of smaller planet. There are actually five dwarf planets so far, and you can read about them here.
  • A New Planet in Sight - The exciting thing about space exploration is that scientists are discovering new things all the time! You probably already know all about the planets in our solar system, but there's a brand new planet named TrES-2.

Astronomy Games & Puzzles

  • Galaxy Hunter: Meet Hubble Deep Fields - Go hunting for galaxies in this fun online game! You'll learn all about the Hubble telescope along the way.
  • Asteroid, Comet, or Meteor? - Uh-oh! Something's hit the space station. Can you tell what kind of space rock it was?
  • Star Gazer - Digit has to fill up his star scrapbook. Do what real scientists do and help angle the telescope to find stars!
  • Build a Solar System - Planets will move faster or slower depending on how far away from the sun they are. You can see this for yourself by building your very own solar system.
  • Near and Far - Can you tell whether a space station or a planet is closer to the Earth? Arrange the images in the correct order based on how near or far they are from Earth.
  • Starchitect - Do you have what it takes to build your own star system? You can create your own system of stars, and you'll learn more about each kind of star along the way. Who knows - you just might find a planet in there, too!
  • Drive a Rover on Mars - Scientists have to send robots called "rovers" to learn more about different planets. In this game, you can try driving a rover on Mars the same way that real scientists do.

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