Ready to Observe: Enhance Your Telescope Experience

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This fun hands-on astronomy activity uses a variety of simple props to help learners understand why they see what they see in a telescope. They will learn about how the eye works, how to use the most powerful part of the eye to see more detail, and what to expect out of an experience observing through a telescope. The pdf contains step-by-step instructions, photos, presentation tips, detailed information about telescopes and the human eye, ready-to-print activity cards, and links to background information.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Field of View (FOV) cards for each participant to have one -- template included (print on card stock for durability)
  • At least one copy of color squares/averted vision card (or one at each telescope) -- template included (print on card stock for durability)
  • Regular ¼" hole punch
  • 16-penny nail
  • Small nail or push-pin
  • Straight pin
  • Scissors
  • (Optional) Pictures or posters of astronomical images


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Astronomy
      • Stars and Galaxies
      • Probes, Satellites and Spacecraft
    • Solar System
      • The Moon
      • The Planets
  • Physical Sciences
    • Light and Optics
      • Sunlight and Color
  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • The Brain and Nervous System
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Vision
      • Perception
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • The Scientific Worldview

Informal Categories

  • Outdoor Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color


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Access Rights:

  • Free access