Center Focus

Guided by the Stars

  1. During the Age of Exploration, explorers used the stars to guide them through their journeys. They used star charts of a sort, called astrolabes in order to find their position based on the stars, sun, moon, and planets.
  2. Have your students use star charts and other equipment you can provide, to figure out what the sky would look like based on a particular point on earth during a given date.
  3. They should sketch some of the larger constellations and brighter stars as well as the planets and sun. This will give them some knowledge of using a star chart as well as a respect for the complications involved in early exploration.
  4. Have them reflect on the idea of maps being taken for granted in today's world as opposed to the world during the Age of Exploration.