Free Summer Astronomy Packet (Solar Eclipse Aug 2017!)
Today I want to share a free summer Astronomy Packet with you. This one highlights the amazing events coming in August 2017… the complete Solar Eclipse that will occur across a huge portion of the United States later this summer as well as other more common summer astronomy activities such as watching the Perseid Meteor Showers, looking for constellations, observing the phases of the moon and more! It highlights
- well known summer constellations
- the phases of the moon
- the Perseid Meteor Showers (August 12-13, 2017)
- the difference between a solar and lunar eclipse
- Solar Eclipse – August 21, 2017
Many places in the U.S. will experience a total solar eclipse this August 21, 2017. There is a strip of land about 70 miles wide called the path of totality. If you are within this path, you will see a total eclipse of the sun.
Protect yourself! Be sure to order Solar Eclipse Glasses (affiliate link) because looking directly at the sun can cause blindness!
Why is this special? Very few people have actually seen a total solar eclipse! They often occur in remote locations.
When were the last total solar eclipses in the U.S.? The most recent total eclipses in the US were in 1979 (only in the northwest part of the country-Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota and parts of Canada) and 1991 (but only in Hawaii).
What is the difference between a solar and lunar eclipse? You can use the free worksheets below to help your kids understand the difference between these two events.
A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, blocking all or a portion of the Sun. It is the Sun that is being “eclipsed” (meaning hidden or blocked from sight).
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes between the Moon and the Sun. The Earth’s shadow obscures the moon or a portion of it.
Can I be near the path of totality and still see the eclipse? NO!! You have to be right in the path to see a total eclipse of the sun! If you are not in the path, you will only see a partial eclipse. Check out NASA’s map here to see if you are in the path of the eclipse. This map has some of the best cities to view the eclipse.
This August, the annual Perseid Meteor Showers will also take place. They won’t be as spectacular as other years, though because a Waning Gibbous Moon may hinder a good view of the meteor shower. The packet talks about the meteor showers and also highlights the phases of the moon!
The kids can also take these pages outside and try to find the most common constellations:
You can download the Free Summer Astronomy Packet here:
Click here to download the free: Summer Astronomy Packet
Don’t forget you can get our Planets of the Solar System pages free over at this post:
Free Astronomy Worksheet Packet Middle School
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Other science units you might be interested in:
STEM: Electricity and Circuits Unit (30 pages)
Physical and Chemical Properties of Matter (45 pages)
Biology Packet (70+ pages)
Ocean Packet (65+ pages)
A Study of Cells (35 pages)
Circulatory Packet (40 pages)
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