Home planetariums are an excellent way for kids to have fun exploring astronomy. It doesn’t take a substantial financial investment to get started. Kids can make a simple star projector using a recycled cylindrical container – like a coffee can – with a flashlight and a stand. Use a star map to follow the upper towers and make small holes in the lid of the container. Place a flashlight inside and place it on an inclined stand. In a dark room, a homemade projector casts patterns from the blanket. Larger holes represent brighter stars or planets. For more imformation about the best home planetarium go to home-planetarium.com.
Home planetarium kits are available to introduce children to astronomy. These sky viewing kits require assembly to make a paper curve projector. Adult support may be needed to achieve the desired results. Children love to identify constellations. Many children’s books tell stories about the various myths behind the names of the constellations.
For more perfect stargazing, modify an inexpensive metallic globe. Carefully drill small holes following the sky map. Aspheric maps are available for each hemisphere and can be scrolled around the world for guidance. Drill bits of different sizes represent the magnitudes of stars, with smaller bits (say 45-48) for star size 0-1 up to more significant bits (say 80) for volume 5 giants. Make sure the globe can be opened and closed to access the light source. Installing the projector can be a bit difficult. Seeing the entire sky requires tilting the world and repositioning the light source so that a circular arc can work. Handle the globe with care when the light source is on, as the metal heats up. Your home planetarium is ready to go. Now you have a great tool to have fun with astronomy for kids. Amateur astronomers love to learn about stars and large clusters like the Pleiades.
For a child who dreams of having the full experience in a planetarium, greater creativity can lead to great results. Any large metal cylinder can be turned into a star projector. It takes time to drill holes that represent several specific stars. Commercially available lenses provide brighter stars. The authoritative light source also increases visibility. Real enthusiasts can create adjustable brackets that match their latitude.
Some construction toys can form a geodesic dome. Drape an umbrella over the top. It is challenging to create a perfect dome, so be prepared for the next best thing. To explore astronomy for kids, try different approaches. Simple projectors are an excellent place to start. Some families have decided to get more ambitious and create a personalized home planetarium. It’s a great way to study space as well as 3D shapes, light projection, and other concepts.