Using a Simple Astrolabe

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In this activity, learners use an astrolabe to measure the altitude of objects. Learners will first practice taking measurements by measuring the altitude of trees and buildings. Then, learners will measure the altitude of the Sun one day a week, at the same time each day, three times. Learners will track the changes in the measurements to better understand why days are longer in the summer and shorter in the winter.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 4 weeks

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Type:



  • Earth and Space Science
    • Astronomy
    • Earth, Moon and Sun
      • Days
      • Seasons
    • Solar System
      • The Sun
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
    • Geometry
    • Measurement
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Technology
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Outdoor Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities