Astronomy and Stargazing Projects

More often than not observing the night sky brings a sense of pure wonder. With the realization that the light you see has traveled thousands of years before reaching your retina comes a humbling sensation, coupled with awe. But sometimes astronomy projects are just pure fun.

The editors at Sky & Telescope provide a range of astronomy projects great for a clear night or the classroom. We’ll teach you how to make your own sundial — a surprisingly simple yet effective device. We’ll show you how to find the top 12 naked-eye variable stars. And we’ll help you hunt down 111 deep-sky wonders that you can return to from any sky.

Faculae along solar limb on July 18, 2014

Blank Sun? Faculae to the Rescue!

Fascinating faculae provide a way for anyone with a small telescope to track the ups and downs of the solar cycle — even when there are no sunspots. Sunspots get all the press. Last week the Web hummed with articles about a spotless Sun, the first time since August 2011 our star wore a...

Great World Wide Star Count

A Star Count for Everyone

Take part in this year's Great World Wide Star Count, and you'll be joining thousands of other "citizen scientists" in raising dark-sky awareness around the globe.

During the spring and summer, the Sun shines down on the readout face, and the shadow falls on the top.

How to Make A Sundial

Sundials are amazingly simple yet effective devices. They range from sticks planted in the ground to precision-machined marvels costing thousands of dollars. The design shown here can be constructed in minutes from materials lying around your house, but it's surprisingly accurate.

Nova Delphini 1967

Nova Hunters

Few observers have spotted an ever-elusive "new" star. Fewer still have done it twice. Observing styles and techniques are as varied as the searchers themselves.