What's Up There?

PicsArt_04-27-12.37.58.jpgSome of our most popular pages are our sky maps, they show you what you will see on a clear night if you look up, but remember the darker your skies the more you can see.

Most of what we see in our night skies are stars, before light pollution there were lots of stars to see, so to make identifying them easier people created names for the patterns of stars and called these constellations.

A constellation is just a group of stars that can be joined together to form a shape or picture. Many ancient cultures around the world often created stories about the shapes they could see in the night sky. Some well-known constellations contain familiar patterns of bright stars, such as Orion, which the ancient Greeks saw as a hunter, and Leo, which traces the outline of a lion. Interestingly, although the stars look like they are all together in the sky, some will be a lot further away for the others.

Here we have the constellations Orion and 'Alien' (I hope you can tell which is which!). The story of Orion is well known, but this new constellation has a fascinating history (if you are 4 years old)...

175 years ago an alien came to planet Earth and made electricity but they didn't share it with us" this constellation shows the pattern displayed on the aliens body.


  1. Have a go at creating a constellation using food, the examples here are made using biscuits, chocolate spread and white chocolate chips. You can recreate an existing constellation or create a completely new one and you can use any food. Just remember to get photos quickly as these tasty constellations didn't last long!

    Or for a more challenging activity take a photograph of a real constellation where you are. The free online planetarium InTheSky.org can show you what constellations will be visible at your location.
  2. Tell us the story that goes along with your constellation.
  3. Don't forget to tag us @SchoolsObs and use the hashtag #ShowTheNSO when you share your constellations on social media.