Understandably, you can’t come to the Observatory right now, but we remain committed to bringing the night sky to you. We have a whole suite of remote learning opportunities coming online shortly, and the first of these is our Daily Astro Challenge in partnership with ESERO Ireland.
The Daily Astro Challenges are a selection of short videos designed to progressively familiarise you with the night sky. We’ll take what you learn in early videos and build on it to give you a deeper and deeper understanding of the night sky.
The night sky slowly changes over the course of the year, but with the exception of the planets and the Moon, these changes are quite slow, so even if you missed a video it should still prove useful for some time after it’s released. We hope you’ll take part in these challenges and we’d love to hear reports of your successes or any queries you may have. Just respond to the videos on our social media pages or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The log of challenges to date is available below. Check back from 12.30pm each weekday for the newest challenges.
Many thanks to our parent institute and funding partners. Their ongoing support make remote learning initiatives such as this possible.
DAILY ASTRO CHALLENGES:
Scroll to the bottom for earlier challenges
Find Taurus – Time to grab the bull by the horns, so to speak, and put your newfound astronomy skills to the test. Today’s challenge is one of the trickier ones, but if you’re having trouble just review the earlier episodes to get your bearings.
Challenge 9. (26/03/20)
Find Capella and Auriga – Today’s #DailyAstroChallenge sees us using Orion to find Capella and the Constellation Auriga. This cool constellation makes the shape of a pentagon so it’s pretty easy to find with a little practice. As always these videos are made possible by our partnership with ESERO Ireland
Challenge 8. (25/03/20)
Find Gemini – With today’s #DailyAstroChallenge we’re going to use one constellation to find another so watch those older videos! Today’s target is the constellation Gemini.
Challenge 7. (24/03/20)
Find The Pleiades – Today we’ll use the constellation Orion to help us locate a beautiful and very distinctive star cluster known as The Pleiades. This is an excellent target for those of you with your own telescopes, but it’s still really fun to be able to locate this one with the naked eye.
Challenge 6. (23/03/20)
Find The North Star – You’re already familiar with The Big Dipper by now, and this is your chance to put it to some practical use. In this video Caoimhin shows us how to use the Big Dipper to find North. A truly useful skill if you ever find yourself lost at night.
Challenge 5. (21/03/20)
Find the Daytime Moon – In this challenge Caoimhin shows us that sometimes astronomy can happen during the day! (This session will not apply after the date of release as the Moon will have changed phase. Don’t worry though, we’ll revisit this topic at a later date.)
Challenge 4. (20/03/20)
Find The Big Dipper – This is probably the most readily identifiable object in the night sky, but luckily it’s also one of the most useful. The knowledge from this video will form the foundation of many upcoming videos, so make sure try your hardest with this one!
Challenge 3. (19/03/20)
Find Venus – In this challenge, Caoimhin from the Observatory’s SciComm Team will show us how to find our first planet! Many of us will have seen Venus in the night sky and just assumed it was a bright star but, with Caoimhin’s help, you’ll soon be able to tell the difference between this beautiful, bright, planet and the sea of stars surrounding it.
Challenge 2. (18/03/20)
Find Orion – In this challenge, Rob introduces us to Orion. Many of us are familiar with elements of Orion, the belt of three stars in a line is very distinctive, but in this video Rob will show you how to expand your knowledge to include the wider constellation.
Challenge 1. (18/03/20)
Find South – In this challenge, Rob from the Observatory’s SciComm Team introduces the Daily Astro Challenge and teaches you how to find South. A basic but vital skill in amateur astronomy.