Awesome Astronomy

Learn about the stars and the galaxies with Planetarium Manager Marc Taylor and Planetarium Educators! Plus, check our calendar for upcoming virtual planetarium shows.


Star Clock — March 30, 2021
As the night passes, the stars of the northern sky wheel around the North Star—just like the hands sweeping across the face of a clock. Download, print out, cut out, and assemble this Star Clock, and you’ll be able to tell time at night using the stars, or determine the position of the Big Dipper, Little Dipper, and Cassiopeia at any time of the evening. Required materials: printer, scissors, fastener (such as a leaf fastener or a thumbtack) for the center pivot.
Download PDF ↗


Virtual Planetarium Show for Kids: The Corn Moon — September 2, 2020
On September 2, the Moon is full, and this is sometimes called the Corn Moon, since this is the time of year the corn harvest begins in earnest. What place does corn have in the history of our area? And what figures do you see in the full Moon? Recommended for ages 6–10.


Conversations Around Constellations: Frances Hynes’ Skyscapes — July 11, 2020
Take a virtual tour of Frances Hynes: Constellations with the artist, Frances Hynes, and HRM’s Manager of Planetarium and Science Programs, Marc Taylor. Hynes discusses her inspiration for these images, and Taylor places them within their celestial context through a virtual planetarium show.


Hello, Summer! — June 17, 2020
Summer starts on the Summer Solstice, when the evening sky is full of beautiful sights. Planetarium Educator Vivian Crea has some summertime celestial sights to show you in this week’s video tour of the sky. Recommended for ages 8+.


The Big Dipper — June 1, 2020
The familiar Big Dipper is much more than just one of the easy-to-spot sky pictures. Its mythological associations extend back to prehistory, it is a signpost for travelers, and the actual stars in the Dipper hold an astronomical surprise. Recommended for ages 8+.


My Favorite Spring Sights — May 18, 2020
HRM Science Educator Tony Gordon explains what stargazers can see in the springtime sky, including Venus, the Big Dipper, and other constellations! Recommended for ages 8+.


The Great Debate and the Virgo Cluster — May 4, 2020
Travel back one hundred years with Planetarium Educator Ron Palumbo to a time when the big question in astronomy was, quite literally, how big is the universe. Recommended for ages 8+.


The “Youngest” Moon — April 20, 2020
This week, look for a young, ultra-thin crescent moon in the evening sky. Do you know what’s so special about this particular crescent moon? Watch to find out! Recommended for ages 8+.


Have You Seen Venus? — April 6, 2020
Did you know that you may be able to spot Venus from your window on a clear day? Marc Taylor explains the science behind why the planet is especially visible now in his new Awesome Astronomy video. “It’s a good time to see Venus because the planet is about as far from the Sun as it gets,” says Marc. Learn how Venus aligns with the Sun and how you can spot the planet at night and maybe even during the day! Recommended for ages 8+.


Three Planets in the Morning Sky (For All You Early Risers!) — March 30, 2020
Attention stargazers! Find out why you should get up early and check out the sky tomorrow, Tuesday, March 31. Marc Taylor kicks off the Awesome Astronomy video series with a challenge you can do both in cities and more rural areas. You don’t even have to leave your home! Recommended for ages 8+.