Chapter I - Mapping

Discover Activity

Orienting by the Crescent Moon? 

If you draw a line between the two end points or "horns" of a crescent moon and down to the horizon, the point where that line hits the horizon will be roughly south! In the Southern Hemisphere, this line will point north.

Why don't you give it a try? 

Evening Star...

In the springtime there is a bright light you can usually see in the western sky just after sunset in the northern hemisphere. It's not a star, it's the planet Venus, nicknamed the "evening star", which is reflecting the light of the set sun. 

Navigating by the Dipper...

Look high in the northern sky for the Big Dipper after dark in the spring. The two stars at the end of the bowl of the Dipper point towards Polaris, the North Star. Drawing an imaginary line between the two stars and holding up your hand, Polaris will be about 5 fist-widths away. When you face Polaris, you’re facing due north.

Your turn!

With your parents, look outside after sunset...

  • See if you can spot Venus in the Western sky. If you don't see it, do a little research to find where and what time it is most visible where you live in this time of year!

  • Find North using the Big Dipper.

  • Find South with the next crescent Moon!