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Kids Corner

Websites, activities and articles especially aimed at young people. Parents and teachers may be interested too, as well as anyone wanting a basic introduction to a subject.

Asteroid Facts for Kids star
Observers used to call them vermin of the skies. Asteroids weren't interesting and their streaks ruined sky photos. But not any more! We know that they can tell us about the early Solar System, one of them may have meant the end of the dinosaurs, and there could be more heading our way.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2012 star
An exquisite whirlpool of two galaxies held together by invisible bonds was this year´s winning image. And the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year captured the beauty of the Pleiades, a cluster of hot blue stars surrounded by a delicate haze of reflective dust. A feast for the eye.

Astronomy Presents - for Kids star
Birthdays, Christmas, and other special occasions . . . What might please a young astronaut or astronomer? Here is a varied list of suggestions - and you may be surprised to find that a telescope is very low on the list.

Books for Young People star
Reviews of books aimed at young people or which would be suitable for school-aged pupils.

Ceres Facts for Kids star
Bode's Law predicted a planet between Mars and Jupiter. The Sky Police were looking for it, but Giuseppe Piazzi found it on New Year's Day 1801. Then someone found another one. And another one. We know of hundreds of thousands of asteroids now. Discover Ceres - planet, asteroid and dwarf planet.

Comets - Facts for Kids star
People once thought that comets were the messengers of major disasters. Today we know that they are visitors from the most distant regions of the Solar System. Other stars have exoplanets and they seem to have exocomets too.

Copernicus for Kids star
Since the name of Nicolaus Copernicus is still well known nearly five hundred years after his death, why was his grave unmarked until 2010? Find out about the life of the quiet revolutionary that turned our view of the universe inside out.

Distances in Space - Facts for Kids star
How tall are you? How far away is New York City? How far away is the Moon? How about the nearest planet, star, or galaxy? Do we measure them in inches, kilometers or light years? Find out why we choose some measuring units and not others.

Dwarf Planet Tour for Kids star
After all the fuss about Pluto, everybody knows that it's a dwarf planet now. But it's only one of five. Here's a mini tour of all five, including the one where a heatwave is the temperature of Antarctica, the one shaped like an egg, and one whose year is over 500 Earth years long. All aboard!

Galaxy Facts for Kids star
The Milky Way used to be the only galaxy people knew. Big telescopes changed that. Now we know there are billions of them. They come in different sizes and shapes and have some surprises for us.

Halley's Comet for Kids star
It visits every 75 years or so, appearing like a celestial ghost in our skies. In the past it has been a bad omen and scary object, but last time it came it was a big event around the world. What is it? Halley's Comet, the most famous comet of all.

Herschel Partnership - for Kids star
The Herschels were the greatest astronomical family of all time. A partnership of two brothers and a sister built the best telescopes of their time, and with those telescopes mapped the deep sky. They changed the way astronomers understood the heavens.

Jupiter Facts for Kids star
It's the king of the Roman gods and comet-killer, containing two and a half times the mass of all the other planets put together and with the shortest day of any planet in the Solar System. It's Jupiter! Find out more.

Jupiter's Moons – Facts for Kids star
Jupiter has at least 67 moons. Some of them are only half a mile long, but one is bigger than the planet Mercury. Which moon has hundreds of volcanoes, and which one has a deep ocean under an icy surface? Find out here.

Kuiper Belt - Facts for Kids star
Pluto's not the last planet, it's the first Kuiper Belt Object. The Kuiper Belt is made up of millions of icy bits left over from the beginning of the Solar System. It starts at 30 AU - that's 30 times farther from the Sun than the Earth. From there it stretches for another 2 billion miles!

Mars Facts for Kids star
Mars has no little green men, but it's a fascinating place. It has a mountain three times the height of Everest and a deep valley that dwarfs the Grand Canyon. Although Mars has no liquid water on the surface, if the southern polar icecap melted, it could cover the planet 36 feet deep in water.

Mercury Facts for Kids star
Now that Pluto is a dwarf planet, Mercury is the baby of the planets. It's close enough to the Sun for lead and zinc to melt during the day. Yet there may be frozen water in its deep craters. Until space probes came along Mercury was a mystery hidden in the Sun's glare, but that's changing!

Milky Way - Facts for Kids star
We live in the Milky Way galaxy. When we look up at the sky all the stars we see are part of the Milky Way. But did you know that most of the Galaxy is made of mysterious, invisible dark matter and that there’s an even darker secret at its heart?

Moon Facts for Kids star
The Moon has no air, no sound, no weather and no liquid water. But you could see the Earth in the sky, shining more brightly than the Moon does from Earth. And since gravity is weaker, you could jump quite high and the footprint you left might last a million years.

Nebulae - Ten Facts for Kids star
Nebulae are great clouds of gas and dust in the spaces between the stars. Some of them are made from dying stars. Others are the nurseries for new stars. Here are ten facts about these surprising objects.

Neptune Facts for Kids star
Far beyond Uranus is another blue planet, one named for the Greek sea god. It could well have been named for a god of winds as it's the windiest place in the Solar System. Find out more about Neptune, the planet that was discovered using math.

Oort Cloud - Facts for Kids star
Where do comets come from? The Oort Cloud is home to a trillion comets at the edge of the Solar System, nearly half way to the next star. Sometimes they get kicked out and sometimes they come to visit the inner Solar System.

Pluto Facts for Kids star
A dwarf planet so far away that the Sun would look like a exceptionally bright star, so cold that its atmosphere is frozen for most of its year. This is Pluto, former planet, and now the gateway to the Kuiper Belt.

Quasar Facts for Kids star
Quasars are the brightest and most distant objects in the universe. And when we see them we are looking into the past, to a time even before our Sun and Solar System existed.

Saturn Facts for Kids star
Saturn is golden in the sky, and a telescope shows a ring system to take your breath away. If you could find enough water Saturn would float, and its moons are amazing. But if you don't like freezing weather, 1000-mph winds and lightning storms the size of continental USA, don't plan any visits.

Science Fair Astronomy Projects star
Attention, educators and students! Need help with astronomy ideas for a science fair? Wonder about how to do a project or investigation? Here are some useful sites with suggestions for astronomy-themed projects, as well as plenty of how-to on researching and presenting work.

Solar System - Tour for Kids star
Take a quick tour of the Solar System, the star system where we live. It´s our neighborhood of the Milky Way. Find out what lies between the Sun and the edge of the Oort Cloud.

Star Names in Harry Potter Stories star
In the Harry Potter books there are a number of characters that are named for stars and constellations. You can find out more about these stars - and for those that don't know the books, there's a bit of background on the characters.

The Sun - Facts for Kids star
The Sun is a star and it's a big one. It's bigger than 85% of the other stars in the Milky Way and contains almost all of the mass of the whole Solar System. Find out more about the star that makes life on Earth possible.

Titan Facts for Kids star
Saturn's moon Titan is bigger than a planet. It's the only moon with a thick atmosphere. In fact the atmosphere is so smoggy, we can't see the surface. But the Cassini-Huygens mission has found out many of its secrets, including lakes and sand dunes and maybe volcanoes.

Uranus Facts for Kids star
This ice giant is twenty times farther from the Sun than we are. It orbits lying on its side so that half the planet can be dark for over twenty years at a time. This is the planet Uranus, discovered by William Herschel in 1871 and nearly named George!

Venus Facts for Kids star
It's the planet most likely to mistaken for a UFO. It spins backwards on its axis. A day is longer than a year. It's Venus! Some call it Earth's twin, but I think you'll see that we don't have all that much in common.

Young Astronomers at Work star
Telescopes are essential for astronomy, but you don't need one of your own. A computer can be the right instrument. Big telescopes collect data faster than professionals can process it, so amateurs can help. There is also room for individual ingenuity. See what some young astronomers have done.

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