It’s written in the stars – new resources for Worldwide Telescope

image Do you believe in the idea that our futures and personalities are governed by Zodiac star signs. Here is an example, which one of these do you think describes myself and Kristen, are you able to identify our personality traits from just our blog posts? (or even from the occasions where you may have met us?)

Person A  is smooth, airy and unemotional, almost invisible. However if the balance is upset by difficult circumstances they can swing between emotional extremes. They desire popularity, are narcissist, charitable and neat. They dress up for the occasion. they are a slight perfectionist, can be bossy at times. They plan ahead, have attention to detail. They love public service and art.


Person B has lots of emotional energy and can be both sensitive and generous. But, there can be lots of tough self-assertiveness.They are hard on the outside but soft in the middle. They have a profound energy that can be hard to direct efficiently in day-to-day situations. They steady, creative and kind. They can have a ferocious temper. They are determined, generous and reliable. But can be stubborn, lazy and possessive.


Whether star signs work for you or not doesn’t really matter , what does is that learning about the Universe, Solar system and constellations is a rich source of learning opportunities for pupils and students. One of the best resources for this is Worldwide Wide Telescope, a free application from Microsoft Research, that enables your computer to function as a virtual telescope, bringing together imagery from the best ground and space-based telescopes in the world.

So I wanted to share with you a great resource produced in english by our German Partners in Learning colleagues. Star Catcher is a comprehensive teacher resource pack, full of information and activities to teach and learn about star constellations. This includes the stories behind constellations that make up the signs of the zodiac, making it a great accompaniment for Worldwide Telescope, as pupils and students can discover and explore fantastic imagery of these celestial bodies.image

Even though this virtual telescope is a great resource, I think it is always a good idea to get your pupils and students to  look at the night sky for real. but being able to make out and identify features of the night sky can be difficult. So if you are able to give them a ‘map’ of the night sky, they would be able to do this a lot easier. You can now do this as Bing Maps and Worldwide Telescope have an application that will create a star map of the night sky from any location that you choose. Firstly, click on this link , this will take you to a Bing maps page, type in a location. Next, once the location has been found, click the ‘Map Apps’ button at the bottom of the page. You will be presented with a list of various apps , some of which at the moment only work in the U.S. Select the Worldwide Telescope App. You will see a button appear called ‘Start here’. Click this and your mouse cursor will change to a ‘virtual telescope’. Use this to select a location on your map and creating a ‘sky map’ in real time. By dragging your mouse cursor across the date and time, you can create a sky map of when you want your class to make their observations. Because, they will be able to access Worldwide Telescope at home it means they can support their observations with the incredible images it uses. It is also very useful, as when I set this activity as homework, the weather changed and inevitably the sky was cloudy.

With these free resources, I think what is written in the stars are some great learning opportunities. Have fun exploring.

In case you are still wondering, Kristen is Person A and I am Person B

Comments (1)

  1. hmiwmp says:

    Oooh-er, that was a tough one.  Person A or Person B?

    I am so glad you provided the answer at the end or I would have worked myself up into a state through being unable to decide who matched what description.

    Funny though – who would have thought that it would be the female that was narcissistic?  Ruins my mental image of Welsh rugby lads, that does!

    Seriously – thanks for another great resource that will complement my Google night sky app on the smartphone!

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