Tuesday, March 24, 2020

RVCC PLANETARIUM: Homeschooling or Exploring, discover the Universe

In response to COVID-19, most College offices are serving students, staff, and faculty remotely.

The Planetarium and Observatory will be closed temporarily.

We look forward to continuing to be your field trip destination and astronomy experts in New Jersey. Please join our Facebook group for astronomy and planetarium news.

For information and guidance about coronavirus as it relates to RVCC, click here.

Keep looking up at those lovely skies!

Your friends at RVCC Planetarium

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Explore the Universe

While you are at home and looking for something to help with homeschooling or to entertain yourself or the family, we've put together a list of some of our favorite websites. This is by no means a complete list of what's out there, just some of the ones that we go to regularly.



For everyone

Astronomy Picture of the Day, Astronomy is full of pretty pictures. This site also has a calendar so you can check yesterday's or last year's images, or search for pictures of specific objects. Each description also includes links if you want to learn more about that object / picture. https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html

EarthSky, updates on the cosmos; astronomy news; sky events to look for; etc. I find their articles easy to understand. I've used their graphics in my posts too. https://earthsky.org/

Gotta stay healthy while you are in space! A document on Space Nutrition

https://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/pdf/669816main_Space%20Nutrition.pdf

Spot the Station: looking for International Space Station in the night sky. Put in your zip code, click on a locator icon near your home, then click on “View sighting opportunities.”  https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/

Spaceweather, a website to explore the Sun-Earth system. Includes daily pictures of the Sun and aurora predictions. https://www.spaceweather.com/

Space.com, astronomy news https://www.nasa.gov/

NASA, they are currently accepting applications for the next astronaut class! Plus there is news, activities, links to missions, and so much more. https://www.nasa.gov/

Infiniscope, Use real NASA data as you do exploratory activities. This site makes the vastness of space and space exploration inviting, accessible, and interactive for educators and learners of all ages. Infiniscope provides a virtual space to connect users to cutting edge space exploration experiences that inspire curiosity, excitement, engagement, and confidence. https://infiniscope.org/

Explore the sky! Stellarium is a FREE planetarium program. You can set it for any location on Earth, any time of day. Click on objects to find out their names. It even has constellation figures from different cultures. http://stellarium.org/



For Younger explorers and Elementary Grades

NASA’s Space Place, information and activities, geared towards young people, but written so all ages (adults too!) can understand ideas  https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/

SciJinks: It’s all about the Weather (sponsored by NOAA)  SciJinks features information, illustrations, and learning tools for

Storytime from Space, Astronauts aboard International Space Station reading picture books https://storytimefromspace.com/

My Sky Tonight, activities for Preschool / early learners from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. https://astrosociety.org/education-outreach/early-learners/my-sky-tonight.html


For Middle and High Schoolers

Khan Academy has a Cosmology & Astronomy section.

https://www.khanacademy.org/science/physics/cosmology-and-astronomy?fbclid=IwAR3GexU3_uKAsQYod4AGZlTpQ3DnzgiLDvS0v0dgeXrz0udjjpO7U7KKxRo


Latest earthquakes from USGS 

https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/map/

Zooniverse zooniverse.org, citizen science projects including Galaxy Zoo (classifying galaxy pictures) and Star Notes (transcribing notes from some amazing, early female Astronomers.) There are also citizen science projects in other disciplines like Arts, Literature, and Medicine.

Podcasts from NASA’s Johnson Space Center

https://www.nasa.gov/johnson/HWHAP

Your Weight on Other Worlds. You probably have a good idea of how much you weigh. But what if you were to go to a different planet?

https://www.exploratorium.edu/ronh/weight/

National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Radio telescopes on Earth look at the sky in a wavelength different from what we see with our eyes, and that opens up a whole new level of wonder and information. Multiple radio telescopes and also work together as if they were one giant telescope. Explore NRAO’s website for galleries of pretty pictures, information on the different observatories they operate around the world, and news about discoveries they are making. https://public.nrao.edu/


YouTube Channels

There are lots of science centers, planetarium, and museums creating content and sharing it on YouTube. These are just a few.

Discover the Universe: science lessons for kids (and adults).

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdfR3_eoqih4_VyYnxfzQng/featured

Their website includes more resources: https://www.discovertheuniverse.ca/astro-home

Hubble Space Telescope. Check out their Public Lectures, Tonight’s Sky, Visualizations. It’s all great.

https://www.youtube.com/user/HubbleSiteChannel/playlists You can explore even more at their website: http://stsci.edu/

Learn the Sky. Learn about constellations.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiPlOyqYe7N35RNlKL_yvBA/featured


More interesting places...

The Metropolitan Opera is offering free streaming of their performances. Just click on their link to see what is available  https://www.metopera.org/

This link is for Google Arts & Culture. This web page offers links to more than 250 museums. This is a free connection to see works of art as well as historical documents right from your computer. The museums participating are from all over the world.

https://artsandculture.google.com/partner?hl=en

For animal lovers, I have included a few links to zoos for you to observe animals online!

The Houston Zoo also has webcams set up for a variety of animals

https://www.houstonzoo.org/explore/webcams/

The Georgia Aquarium has a 24-hour live-stream to watch a beluga whale, penguins, puffins and more

https://www.georgiaaquarium.org/webcam/ocean-voyager/

The San Diego Zoo has a lot to choose from. Scroll down and see the variety of animals that can be viewed from the comfort of your home.

https://zoo.sandiegozoo.org/live-cams

The Smithsonian National Zoo has a panda cam.

https://nationalzoo.si.edu/webcams/panda-cam

Virtual Tour of Stunning Libraries

This link takes you to various libraries throughout the world. I particularly loved the personal tour at The New York Public Library. The guides really take you to every room and explain the architecture and design involved.

Please click on the link and scroll down to see these incredible libraries.

http://www.ilovelibraries.org/article/take-virtual-tours-these-stunning-libraries

Take a walk through the New York Botanical Gardens

Though the Garden remains temporarily closed, you can still look at the rhododendrons, daffodils, magnolias, and more that are hard at work painting the colors of the season across the 250 acres

https://www.nybg.org/take-a-virtual-walk-through-nybgs-spring-landscape/

To reach us, email planet@raritanval.edu.