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Last Updated:
February 11, 2005


Night Sky Network

The Minnesota Astronomical Society is a proud member of the 'Night Sky Network', a nationwide coalition of astronomy clubs and societies.  The Network is a joint effort of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.  Its objective is to bring the science, technology and inspiration of NASA's missions to the general public. 

The current theme of the materials supplied by the Night Sky Network is “PlanetQuest: The Search for Another Earth”.  These materials will be used in upcoming monthly meetings, at Onan Observatory public events and at other outreach activities throughout the months ahead.

The PlanetQuest toolkit includes:

  • Four 'hands-on' activities:  'Where are the Distant Worlds?', 'Telescope Treasure Hunt: How Do Stars and Planets Form?', 'How Do We Find Planets Around Others Stars?' and 'Why Do We Put Telescopes in Space?'.

  • Computer-based animations, simulations and other multimedia materials such as an interactive Michelson interferometer and a virtual tour of Keck observatory.

  • Promotional material

  • Training DVD

Educators, youth leaders and groups interested in programs using these materials can contact the outreach team via email at outreach@mnastro.org, or by leaving a message at (952) 467-2426.

MAS members can use the toolkit for outreach events, special interest group meetings or general MAS meetings.  The toolkit's documents and multimedia files are available on CD, but there are limited quantities of materials for the hands-on activities.  The only requirement for using the toolkit is that presenters must log their presentation with the MAS Night Sky Network coordinator.  (This information is in turn reported to the Night Sky Network to to support their continued funding and to keep the MAS membership in the Network current.)

To request a copy of the resources CD or to inquire about the availability of other toolkit resources, MAS members should send email to Outreach@MnAstro.org.

For more information on the Night Sky Network, please visit its web site at http://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/.



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