Our theme this month: A guiding light

Asterism known as the "Little Teapot"
Credit: makelessnoise

It's finally December and we all deserve a well-needed break more than ever this year! Here are a few ideas to sprinkle some Christmas stardust into the final few weeks of the year.


Stories of the Stars

These darker afternoons are perfect for sharing stories of the stars. We all look at the same skies but different cultures use different constellations. Find out which stories you and your families know! 'Figures in the Sky' is a great web-resource for exploring different "sky cultures". Or why not try out our Stars and Stories activity? It's designed for children aged 4 - 7 but is fun for all.


Santa's Space Vacation - Tuesday 15th December 2020

The NSO are very excited to host an online Christmas spectacular this year: Santa's Space Vacation!

Booking to view the live event has now closed. If you missed out (or want to enjoy it again!) a recording of the event will be available for you to view on our YouTube channel.


Jupiter and Saturn conjunction

Jupiter and Saturn are getting close in the sky. On 21st December 2020 (the winter solstice), they will only be 0.1 degrees apart. That's one-fifth of the diameter of the full moon. This great conjunction of the two largest planets in our Solar System is the first in 20 years and the closest since 1623.

A conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn is one possible explanation for "the Star of Bethlehem". Have you thought about the scientific theories behind the Christmas Star? You could research different theories and present your evidence in a poster, presentation, or debate - all useful career skills for scientists.


NSO Work Experience Week 2021

Each summer we run a Work Experience Programme for students aged between 16 - 18. It usually takes place in the Astrophysics Research Institute at Liverpool John Moores University. The 2021 event will go ahead but we don't yet know whether it will be in person or online. 

The 2021 Work Experience Week application process is being delayed until Spring 2021 - so watch this space!


Royal Astronomical Society poster competition 

The Royal Astronomical Society GCSE Astronomy Student Poster Competition has launched! The competition is for students who were due to take the exam in Summer 2020. Winners will receive book token prizes. Entry details can be found on the RAS website.


#ShowtheNSO - Share your science with us!

Have your made an image using the NSO? Have you entered our Image of the Month Competition yet? The winner receives a 50 cm x 50 cm canvas of their image.


National Astronomy Week

Let us know what you got up to! If you missed anything, you can catch up on all the talks on the National Astronomy Week YouTube channel.