For this activity, you need to make the classroom into a "Horizon Planetarium" with all the constellations visible near the horizon hanging on the four walls. You need 8 posters for each of the directions: North, NE, East, SE, South, SW, West, and NW. If you like, you can simplify the process by cutting the number to just the four cardinal directions. To make constellation posters, get

The classroom may be set up for one of three time periods when Comet Hale-Bopp can be seen, corresponding with the 3 whole sky maps:

Pick one of the time periods and refer to the corresponding star map to create the 8 posters showing the constellations in the corresponding directions. Copy the constellation shapes by placing the stick'em dots on the dark paper in the proper pattern of stars. DO NOT MARK WHERE THE COMET IS on any of the posters. Here are lists of appropriate constellations for each poster:

Direction Fall, 1996 Winter 1997 Spring 1997
North Little Dipper Cassiopeia, Little Dipper Cassiopeia
NE Cassiopeia Cygnus [Perseus]
East Aquila Lyra/Aquila Bootes
SE Pisces Scorpius Virgo
South Aquarius Virgo Hydra
SW Sagittarius Hydra Canis Major
West Ophiuchus/Hercules Leo Orion/Taurus
NW Big Dipper Gemini Perseus

For a sample of what what a horizon chart might look like, see one of the Horizon Maps, but keep in mind it is NOT necessary to show the horizon line on your posters--the classroom horizon is naturally flat all the way around the room.

Comet Homepage | What's a Comet? | When Visible? | Horizon Map | Whole Sky Map | Making Map

(Last Update: 9/20/96 )

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