Astronomy Activities in 30 Minutes Or Less

Are you looking for some fun astronomy- and space-related activities for yourself or your kids? Check out these great activities that take 30 minutes or less but teach long-lasting lessons. Most can even be done on a rainy day indoors, but some may require a trip outside.

Most of the fast astronomy and space activities require minimal supplies, but a few may need adult supervision.

Have fun! 

Edited and updated by Carolyn Collins Petersen.

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30-Minute Rocket

Air Powered Bottle Rocket - Supplies
Air Powered Bottle Rocket - These are the things you need. NASA

You can make a 30-minute air- or water-powered rocket with a few simple items. Best for an outdoor project. Learn more about rocketry at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center's rocketry education page.

Diagram of Space Shuttle -Edible Shuttle
Diagram of Space Shuttle - Edible Space Shuttle. NASA

You can learn about the Space Shuttle and its parts by making a snack. All you need are some Twinkies, marshmallows and other goodies. Assemble and eat these parts of the Space Shuttle:

  • The External Tank holds fuel.
  • The Solid Rocket Boosters push the Shuttle into the air.
  • The Orbiter is where the astronauts sit. It also holds everything that is going into space.
More »
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Make a Cassini Spacecraft That's Good Enough to Eat

Does your Cassini look like this one?
Does your Cassini look like this one?. NASA

Here's another tasty activity. The real Cassini spacecraft is orbiting Saturn, so celebrate its successes by building a replica that's mighty sweet.

April Star chart
A star chart showing three easy-to-spot constellations in April. Check out the star charts in the link above to find a simulated chart of the sky for your time and location. Carolyn Collins Petersen

Have you ever looked at the clouds and seen familiar shapes in them? That one looks like a duck, or that cloud is shaped like Abraham Lincoln's head. Well, as ancient humans looked at the stars, they began to see patterns, too. We call them constellations. Not only can you see them if you learn more about the night sky you can spot planets and other objects as well.

Take just about 15 minutes and learn your way around the night sky with this fun activity for after dark. Use the maps at the link to see what the sky looks like from your location.  More »

Lunar Prospector Image - Complete!
Lunar Prospector Image - Complete!. NASA/JPL

The real Lunar Prospector was designed for a low polar orbit investigation of the Moon, including mapping of surface composition and possible deposits of polar ice, measurements of magnetic and gravity fields, and study of lunar outgassing events.

Now, in just a short time you can build your very own Lunar Prospector model. More »

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Making Craters

Pictures of Mars - Martian Crater
Pictures of Mars - Martian Crater. Copyright 1995-2003, California Institute of Technology

Why do the Moon and Mercury look the way they do, with many craters on their surfaces? What would happen if Earth got hit by a large piece of space rock? Learn more with this quick and simple activity.

Pictures of Skylab - Launch of the Skylab 4/Saturn 1B space vehicle
A rocket launching SkyLab to orbit. NASA Johnson Space Center (NASA-JSC)
Sir Isaac Newton developed a very famous theory called the "Three Laws of Motion." We use these laws today to make rockets fly. Learn how to apply these laws to make your own rockets fly. More »
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Fun Quizzes

Image of the Week for October 14, 2005 - Hubble Resolves a Blaze of Stars in a Galaxy's Core
Test your knowledge of the stars, planets, and galaxies. NASA/STScI

So, you think you're pretty smart?

Well, try your hand at some of these fun quizzes. If you don't know an answer, look it up on this site.

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Your Citation
Greene, Nick. "Astronomy Activities in 30 Minutes Or Less." ThoughtCo, Mar. 2, 2017, Greene, Nick. (2017, March 2). Astronomy Activities in 30 Minutes Or Less. Retrieved from Greene, Nick. "Astronomy Activities in 30 Minutes Or Less." ThoughtCo. (accessed April 20, 2018).