Skip to main content

Sky Quest

Division: A- Elementary

NC Essential Standards Alignment: 3.E.1, 4.E.1, 6.E.1

Event Rules: See 2024 Division A Rule Manual


Teams will be tested on their knowledge of the properties and evolution of stars and galaxies.  Participants will identify the stars/constellations included on a provided list.


Must bring writing instruments. Each team may bring two 8.5” x 11” sheets of paper, which may be in sheet protectors sealed by tape or laminated, that may contain information on both sides in any form and from any source without any annotations or labels affixed.


Points will be awarded for the accuracy of responses. Ties will be broken by the accuracy or quality of responses to pre-selected questions chosen by the event leader.


  • Do students need to learn the actual Messier objects (110 of them) or do they just need to be able to identify a star cluster, nebula, etc?
    • They don’t need to know all 110, but they should be able to visually distinguish between the different types of objects and be familiar with the most famous named objects (i.e., the Orion Nebula, the Ring Nebula, the Andromeda Galaxy, etc.).
    • Here is a list of 15 Messier objects:                                                                                            

Event Resources:

Make a Phases of the Moon calendar for 2022
OpenStax – free downloadable text for intro Astro topics
Cassini – The Grand Finale of the Saturn mission
Great resource books and lessons from NASA
Skyquest: Hands-On Activities
DK Find Out!
Solar System Live
Beyond Earth: A Chronicle of Deep Space Exploration – This book details all space missions and explains how we have progressed in space exploration throughout the years.
What’s Up in Space? 
Atlas of the Universe
Students for the Exploration and Development of Space 
Raleigh Astronomy Club
NASA’s Picture of the Day
NASA’s PhotoJournal
Secret Worlds: The Universe Within
Astronomical Distances
Tumble Science Podcast for Kids: The Quest for the Hidden Planets
Tumble Science Podcast for Kids: The Mystery of the Exploding Star
Tumble Science Podcast for Kids: The Hunt for Black Holes
Raleigh Clear Sky Chart
Solar System Live
Heaven’s Above
Space Weather
Worldwide Telescope
Where is the Center of the Universe?