Use these free online resources before or after your visit to further explore themes presented in the Journey to the Stars space show.
In the Milky Way Galaxy alone, there are hundreds of billions of stars. But that hasn't always been the case... Take a look at the life cycle of stars in this photo gallery.
There are thousands of stars in the night sky. Hidden among them are constellations and planets. How many can you find? Record your sightings in a stellar sky journal.
To see what the Big Dipper would look like from outer space, build a mobile!
If technology, cost, and terrain permitted, scientists seeking key data on stars in our galaxy would have loved to construct a behemoth 330 m wide telescope atop Mount Wilson, just northeast of Los Angeles. Instead, they arranged six smaller telescopes over an identical area, synchronizing the light to achieve an equally superlative resolution. Called the Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy (CHARA), the array uses the technique of interferometry to spot details the size of a nickel seen from 16,000 km away. Hear from project astronomers why the labyrinthine engineering required for CHARA's renowned precision is a small sacrifice for the valuable data it gleans on the properties and life cycles of stars.
Taking a census of all the luminous objects in one-quarter of the visible cosmos is a hefty accounting job. It takes a specially-built telescope on task every clear night for eight years, wielding one of the biggest digital cameras on the planet. Over a hundred million stars, galaxies, and quasars have been tallied so far. Meet the astronomical observers and theorists set on divining the three-dimensional structure and origins of the Universe from these unprecedented scores of data.
Article, Online Resource
What are the stars made of? At 25, Cecilia Payne answered this fundamental question in her Ph.D. thesis. Her pioneering work also made it possible to read a star's surface temperature.
Article, Online Resource
Bessel discovered Sirius' unseen companion star long before technology allowed us to see Sirius B and even longer before quantum mechanics explained the nature of white dwarfs.
If you think of the entire galaxy as a giant pizza, all the stars you can see from Earth fall within about one pepperoni on that pizza. Find out more fun details about the Milky Way Galaxy.
How stellar is your knowledge of stars? Test yourself with this interactive quiz.
In the midst of a forest, all you can see is a wall of tree trunks. So why, then, don't we see a wall of starlight when we look up at the forest of stars in the night sky?