Department of Geology

Astronomy Labs using Starry Night software

Dr. J Bret Bennington
Office: 138 Gittleson Hall
Phone: 516-463-5568
Fax: 516-463-5120
Rodger Kitt (, an earth science teacher at Great Neck South Middle School, has developed a series of lab exercises to teach basic principles of astronomy using Starry Night, a very popular planetarium software package. Please direct any questions you have to Rodger - I am not familiar with these myself.

The following are downloadable Microsoft Word 98 files.

Solar and Star Motions Lab part I
Solar and Star Motions Lab part II
Essay Questions based on above exercises

Sun Shadows Lab

Exploring Objects in Space Lab

Sunrise Lab

Note: the configuration instructions in these exercises are for an earlier version of Starry Night than the one that is currently available. However, this should create only minor inconvenience. I will post updated exercises as they become available - R.K.
New Starry Night Labs

Apparent Motions of the Sun and Stars

How Shadows Change During the Day

Planet Speed and Location

Our Solar System and Retrograde Motion

Space Exploration Lab

Where the Sun Rises and Sets

I wrote these labs to be used with Starry Night Backyard (Windows version). It can be downloaded at

Any of these can be used with any middle or high school students. Planet Speed and Location is an easier version of Our Solar System & Retrograde Motion.

Feel free to distribute these without charge to anyone who could use them.

Please send me any comments, improvements or suggestions.

Rodger Kitt


Last modified 2-5-02 by Bret Bennington. All rights reserved by the author. This document may not be distributed or posted in any format or reposted on any other server without permission. Take me back to 
Bennington's Homepage
Take me to the 
Hofstra Geology Homepage