Make your own Orrery

Orrery’s are fantastic tools to demonstrate the planetary motions in our Solar System, but rare since they often require an advanced (accurate) clock work to work. It is however straight forward to make one for your self with paper and scissors. The children can colour their own orrery and play with it to explore several interesting phenomena in our Solar System.

Download the pdf and print it, one per child, and follow the instructions printed on the sheet. You will need colours, scissors, split pins (split clips) and a laminator (optional). If you do not have a laminator machine, it is advisable to print the file below on the thickest paper you have available.

This activity is also available in:


Keywords: children, paper, scissors, paper clips,

Learning about colours in astro photography

In astrophotography, colours are treated in different ways – telescopes generally do not take colour pictures, but use special filters to capture light in particular parts of the optical spectrum (e.g. red light only). This interactive app from the Faulkes Telescope project will show you how colour images are made using different filters, combining them to make various types of “colour image”.

Meteor camera network

Every day, several tons of material fall from space down on earth. Some of this material are rocks of sufficient size to make meteors (shooting stars) that survive the extreme heat as they are decelerated through our atmosphere. A few times every year, we see big fireballs, meteors big enough to survive all the way down onto the ground.

An artists impression of a fireball seen from space

The possibility of finding a meteorite have sent many out looking for stones that carry the signs of a space rock. Several networks of all-sky cameras exist around the globe, with the aim of doing research on meteor activity. Now, a network is being built to supply schools with unique class room material, where young students can participate in identifying meteors, calculating where their landing sites and their extra terrestial origins.

Here at the Online Observatory, we develop activities and tools that allow schools to contribute in the hunt for meteors and meteorites. The following talk was given at an event held at the Brorfelde Observatory in Denmark, June 2019.

As presented on the Multiplier Event at Brorfelde Observatory in June 2019

As presented on the Multiplier Event at Brorfelde Observatory in June 2019

Do you want to learn more about this project or have ideas on how to make these ideas even better, please contact us with your ideas and questions.

Geogebra files

Some activities require Geogebra files, where students can manipulate arrows indicating the path of given meteors. In these files, they can get acquainted with coordnates and distances of any given event. The files are still only prepared with maps of southern Norway.

Here are a few Geogebra files for download: