Mind-boggling facts about stargazing for kids

Visitors enjoying one of Bristol Astronomical Society's stargazing evenings at Tyntesfield, North Somerset

Most people can’t help feeling a sense of awe when they see a starry sky. That said, stargazing does require a bit of patience and some children might need a little help to see why sitting around on a cold dark night, looking up, is fun.

Here are a few incredible facts to help bring the sky at night alive for your family:

Our star

  • The sun is actually a star. If you hollowed it out you could fit nearly one million earths inside it.

Seeing into the past

  • ‘When you see the stars you are looking into the past. Because light takes time to travel and stars are many light years away from us you could be seeing a star that doesn’t even exist anymore.’ - Saul Burton, stargazer and park manager

The power of the moon

  • All of the world’s oceans are controlled by the moon. The moon is the reason we have high and low tides. Only 12 people have ever set foot there, but because there is no wind if you visited the moon today you would still see their footprints.

Closer than you might think

  • ‘Space is only around 60 miles from the surface of the earth. That means if you live in the middle of England you could be closer to space than you are to the sea. Think about it - what is 60 miles from where you live?’ - Rod Hebden, science expert

We are made of stardust.

  • It sounds unbelievable, but every atom in your body was formed from the dust of an exploded star.

Don't forget, stargazing is also one of our 50 things to do before you're 11 ¾, so as well as seeing all this amazing stuff, you'll also be able to tick another activity off your list.

Things to take on your family stargazing trip

You don’t need a telescope or binoculars, but there are a few bits and pieces that will make your stargazing adventure all the more enjoyable.

Seeing planets, shooting stars and satellites

The night sky is constantly changing, depending on the time of year and the time of night. But that doesn't mean stargazing is only for the experts. We've got a few simple things that you can look out for with your kids.


Night sky

Top spots for stargazing 

The big, open skies of the countryside let you see thousands of stars sparkling at night. Take a look at our top spots for stargazing.