Astronauts and Aliens
This project was created with funding from NASA to support Montana rural libraries in creating community outreach events focused on NASA and space science. The project included resources for hosting four different themed events. Though the project ended a few years ago, please connect with us if you are interested in learning more about the resources that were available.
Family Star Gazing Night
Learn more about our solar system and the stars you see at night at a family star
viewing party. Gaze at the stars through a telescope, learn a few constellations,
and make your own portable guide to the night sky. Discover what stars and planets
are currently visible and receive an astronomy calendar that will help plan your star
viewing for the rest of the year. At the party, kids can make their own constellation
with glow-in-the-dark stars, play educational computer games, make a glow-in the dark
planet or star out of clay.
- Planets of the Solar System
See how long it takes you to identify each planet in the solar system.
- Identify the Solar System
See how long it takes you to identify close up images of the solar system.
- Kids Skymap
View or print out a view of the constellations in tonight's sky.
- Phases of Our Moon
What you will see tonight and descriptions of each phase of the moon
The Sun helps keep us alive. It is our nearest star and it provides us with warmth and energy. Come learn more about our star and make a bracelet or key chain that changes color in the Sun's light. Create your own solar clock, view photos of the Sun taken that day from space, and get special glasses that allow you to look directly at the Sun. Never look directly at the Sun without the glasses!
- Recent Photos of the Sun
See recent photos of the Sun and see if there currently are any sunspots.
- Hi-def photos and films of the Sun
See the latest photos and films of the Sun taken with the most advanced solar observatory, called SDO, that Montana State University helped to design.
Have you ever thought about being an astronaut? Come learn more about how to become an astronaut and what life is like in space. View photos of Mars in 3-D, make a rocket, try on some moon shoes, and taste some astronaut food. You'll find out if traveling in space is really for you.
- Mars Adventure
Load your spacecraft with things that would be good to take on a long voyage to Mars. You can choose 10 items and you only have 10 minutes to load the ship.
- Foam Rocket
Make foam rockets from a NASA rocket guide book.
Yellowstone hot springs and aliens: what's the connection? Come to the alien party at your local library and find out. Come face-to-face with some Sea Monkeys and learn about their travels in space. Make some Shrinky Dinks, hear a fun alien story, and find out what scientists really think aliens might look like. Check out some alien-related computer games, and search for your own alien that you can take home with you. Find out why astrobiologists study life on Earth to get new ideas about life in the Universe.
- Download photographs of Yellowstone Microbes
- I See Ice
Use the NASA "I See Ice" viewer to look at some of the many places where ice has been found in our solar system, and where there is ice, there might be life.
- NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI)
Learn about the latest research on Astrobiology. Check out the “Teams” link to see if any researchers in your area are part of NAI, and visit the “Education and Outreach” link to find out about educational opportunities and ideas.
About the Activities
These activities were developed by the NASA in the Northwest project at Montana State University and were piloted at 11 Montana libraries:
- Whitehall Community Library
- Glacier County Library
- Bitterroot Public Library
- Fort Belknap College Library
- Stone Child College Library
- Fort Peck Tribal Library
- Stillwater County Library
- Hearst Free Library
- Park County Public Library
- Belgrade Community Library
- Bozeman Public Library
For More Information
Contact Jamie Cornish at email@example.com.