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This tool is composed of star maps with the layout of the constellations in relief.
The stars are marked by pins and the constellation layout is traced by wool threads that connect the stars to form the design of the constellation.
The set described here was made following a star map that contains more constellations than were used, but by decreasing the image scale you can make panels with constellation of larger size.
Understand the rotation of the Earth and the apparent movement of the celestial sphere by using the different positions of the constellations on the tables. Recognize by touch the different shapes of the constellations and the different brightness of the stars. Remember the main star of the unfolded constellation.
- Tables of the Toshimi Taki constellations; see http://takitoshimi.starfree.jp/atlas/atlas.htm (the star maps with constellation lines are identified by filename starting with “cr”; i.e. cr_1n_050115)
- Laminated cardboards (A3 size)
- Woolen threads of various colours
- Beads of various size
Print the star maps with the chosen constellations on laminated cardboard (A3 size).
Glue the cardboard to a polystyrene board.
Choose the constellations to highlight and mark the stars that outline the layout of the constellation with different size beads according to their brightness.
Connect the beads with woolen thread to draw the constellation layout.
- Step 1: Present the boards to the participants and let them touch them
- Step 2: Show how to locate the North Star through its position on the boards
- Step 3: Start with the table depicting the evening sky of the month
- Step 4: Help locate the constellations of the month starting from the North Star
- Step 5: Explain the constellations: main stars, mythology, etc.
- Step 6: Explain, using the globe, the earth’s rotation and the apparent movement of the sky
- Step 7: Show the next table with the constellations shifted by 4 hours
- Step 8: Help locate the constellations starting from the North Star
- Step 9: Explore the table and recognize the previous constellations and their displacement
- Take the different boards and arrange them on the table:
- Which constellation did you like the most?
- Which constellation can you recognize?
- What does the design of the constellation make you remember or imagine?
- The figures represented in the constellations recall stories of the myths of various cultures. Do you have any stories to tell?