Beautiful Super Moon Images

Did you see the Super Moon this month? It was the largest full Moon we’ve seen since 1948, and we won’t see another one this large until 2034. But in case you missed the Super Moon, here are some really neat images!

Image Credit: Pinterest.com
Image Credit: Pinterest.com
Super Moon over St. Louis
The Super Moon over St. Louis. Image Credit: Google+
Super Moon and Soyuz
Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, this Soyuz rocket stands on the launch pad at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on November 14. Beyond it rises a supermoon, but fame for exceptional feats of speed, strength, and agility is not the reason November’s Full Moon was given this popular name. Instead, whenever a Full Moon shines near perigee, the closest point in its elliptical orbit around Earth, it appears larger and brighter than other more distant Full Moons, and so a supermoon is born. In fact, November’s supermoon was the second of three consecutive supermoons in 2016. It was also the closest and most superest Full Moon since 1948. Meanwhile, the mild mannered Soyuz rocket is scheduled to launch its Expedition 50/51 crew to the International Space Station today, November 17. Image Credit: NASA, Bill Ingalls

Finally, here is a video showing many images of the Super Moon from around the world!

 

 


Get our Moon Tweets!

The Twitter Moon
Our Moon Tweets let you know when the Moon is in a Name A Star Live constellation.

Did you know you can use the Moon to identify where your star’s constellation is in the night sky? Follow us on Twitter where we let you know when the Moon appears in a Name A Star constellation (area of the night sky).

Name A Star Live offers some really good tools to learn about the night sky and find your star’s constellation. Visit our website to learn about our Virtual Planetarium software, planisphere constellation finder, and First Light Astronomy Kit!

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest!

How We Launch Your Star Name Into Space

Name A Star Live launch
Name A Star Live launch on an UP Aerospace SpaceLoft XL rocket from Spaceport America, New Mexico

Name A Star Live launches your star’s name into space, and provides you a launch certificate after the launch occurs.  We’re operated by Space Services, Inc. – a real aerospace company that has been launching payloads into space since 1982. No other Name A Star company has such a record of space launch success.

We’re often asked by our customers how, exactly, we launch the star names.

First, we launch more than just your star’s name: We launch all of the unique information from your Star Certificate, including the star’s name, what the star is named in honor of, the star’s registration date, the message you write for your gift recipient, the star’s astronomical coordinates and your order number.  We save all of this information in our database of stars — our star register, or “archive of star names”: Your star will be assigned the name you give it, and will never be assigned any other name in our star register.

Star Certificate
A Name A Star Live star certificate

Second, we save our star database onto a data storage device.  We then ship this device to the facility where the rocket is assembled.  Technicians integrate the device into the rocket as a “secondary payload” — we ‘piggyback’ on rockets that carry scientific or communications “primary payloads” into space.  The technicians must integrate the device into the rocket weeks, or even months before liftoff.  So there necessarily is a delay between the time you name your star and the time it is launched.

Chip
Name A Star Live flies its customers’ star names into space using a data storage device, much like NASA did using this chip when it included people’s names on the Mars Curiosity rover.

Scheduling a rocket launch is not like booking a flight on an airplane.  While airline flights may be delayed a few minutes or hours due to weather or other flight delays, normally your airplane flight will take off from your airport at least on the same day your flight is scheduled for departure.  In contrast, rocket launches often are delayed for days, weeks, months or even years due to a variety of technical or other reasons inherent in spaceflight.  You can find information about our upcoming missions by visiting our online launch schedule.

Third, depending on the mission, your star name will:

  • Fly on a brief trip to space and return to Earth,
  • Orbit the Earth (as an “orbital archive”),
  • Fly to the Moon, or
  • Fly into deep space.

In most cases you can attend the launch in person!  Our parent company, Space Services, Inc., has had payloads launched from locations around the world, including: Cape Canaveral, Florida; Spaceport America, New Mexico; New Zealand; the Marshall Islands….  But if you can’t join us for the launch, you can usually view the launch live via webcast.

No matter the mission, after liftoff you will receive a letter-size, Digital Launch Certificate confirming that your star name flew in space.  This is provided to you via the Internet: You can even order a Printed or Framed Launch Certificate.  This certificate displays your star’s name and astronomical coordinates, as well as information about the launch.

Launch Certificate
A Name A Star Live launch certificate

Launching your star’s name and other details into space is part of what sets Name A Star Live apart from other star-naming companies: Through our launches, we make the symbolic gesture of naming a star a real and exciting experience!

Use the Moon to find Mars!

The Moon is a very useful ‘landmark’ in the sky to find planets, prominent stars and other interesting things in the heavens above. You can use the Moon in early November to find the planet Mars.

Mars and the Moon on the evening of November 5, 2016 as viewed from the northern hemisphere of Earth
Mars and the Moon on the evening of November 5, 2016 as viewed from the northern hemisphere of Earth

On November 5 look for Mars, which will appear reddish in color, just to the east of the crescent Moon. Both of these celestial objects are in the Name A Star Live constellation Sagittarius this evening. You should also see Venus and Saturn very low on the southwestern horizon.

Mars and the Moon on the evening of November 6, 2016 as viewed from the northern hemisphere
Mars and the Moon on the evening of November 6, 2016 as viewed from the northern hemisphere

The next night, November 6, the Moon moves into Capricorn to a position above Mars, which remains in Sagittarius.

Venus, Mars and the Moon as viewed from Sydney, Australia, Nov. 6, 2016
Venus, Mars and the Moon as viewed over the western horizon from Sydney, Australia, Nov. 6, 2016

If you’re in the southern hemisphere of Earth, look for the Moon and Mars over your western horizon the evening of November 6. The Moon and Mars will both be in the Name A Star Live constellation Sagittarius as viewed from the southern hemisphere.


Get our Moon Tweets!

The Twitter Moon
Our Moon Tweets let you know when the Moon is in a Name A Star Live constellation.

Did you know you can use the Moon to identify where your star’s constellation is in the night sky? Follow us on Twitter where we let you know when the Moon appears in a Name A Star constellation (area of the night sky).

Name A Star Live offers some really good tools to learn about the night sky and find your star’s constellation. Visit our website to learn about our Virtual Planetarium software, planisphere constellation finder, and First Light Astronomy Kit!

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest!

See a Star Explosion!

Nova
GK Persei, a nova in the constellation Perseus. Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/RIKEN/D.Takei et al; Optical: NASA/STScI; Radio: NRAO/VLA

A star in the Name A Star Live constellation Sagittarius has exploded, and you can see it now! But you better hurry as Sagittarius will soon not be visible to observers in the northern hemisphere of Earth.

The star, which has not been ‘named’ by Name A Star Live, is actually a binary star where one of the stars has stolen hydrogen from its companion. The hydrogen built up on the surface of the stellar thief and, under pressure, ignited like a hydrogen bomb. The exploded hydrogen is given off as a shell of gas that surrounds the star. (See photo above.) The star remains intact, and will likely repeat the process of sucking hydrogen from its companion until another explosion (nova) occurs in the future. When you see the nova you will see the exploded shell — although what you will see through your binoculars or telescope won’t look like the spectacular NASA photo above!

How to See the Nova

Nova in Sagittarius
Look for the nova, marked by the red dot, near the “Teapot” of Sagittarius, which will be low on the southwestern horizon shortly after sunset. You’ll need a pair of binoculars or a telescope to see it.

You should be able to see the nova with a 50mm pair of binoculars or just about any telescope. Just look for Sagittarius toward the southwest about 1 1/2 hours after sunset. You’ll notice the bright planet Mars. Just below and to the right of Mars you’ll see a group of relatively bright stars called the “Teapot.” The nova will be just to the right of the Teapot.

The nova as viewed from Sydney, Australia
The “Teapot” as viewed from Sydney, Australia, facing west after sunset.

Those of you in the southern hemisphere can also get a good look at the nova. Sagittarius will be somewhat higher in your sky after sunset compared to observers in the northern hemisphere.

Finally, don’t confuse a nova with a “supernova.” Classical novas can be considered to be “miniature” versions of supernova explosions. Supernovas signal the destruction of an entire star and can be so bright that they outshine the whole galaxy where they are found.

For more information about novas, see chandra.si.edu/photo/2015/gkper/


Get our Moon Tweets!

The Twitter Moon
Our Moon Tweets let you know when the Moon is in a Name A Star Live constellation.

Did you know you can use the Moon to identify where your star’s constellation is in the night sky? Follow us on Twitter where we let you know when the Moon appears in a Name A Star constellation (area of the night sky).

Name A Star Live offers some really good tools to learn about the night sky and find your star’s constellation. Visit our website to learn about our Virtual Planetarium software, planisphere constellation finder, and First Light Astronomy Kit!

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest!

 

See Uranus Near the Moon

Uranus near the Moon
Uranus near the Moon the night of Oct. 15, 2016

On October 15 the planet Uranus will reach its maximum brightness for 2016. But even if you can’t observe the 7th planet from the Sun that night, you can get a good look all month. So pull out your telescope or binoculars and take a peek! Uranus will be relatively easy to spot October 15 as it will appear next to the Moon as a fairly dim ‘star.’ If you can’t view Uranus on the 15th you can use our Virtual Planetarium astronomy software to find it on other nights this year. This gas giant is in the Name A Star Live constellation Pisces.

Through a telescope Uranus will appear as either a grey circle or a faint blue-green dot, depending on whether you have a small or large telescope, respectively. The planet is so far away that the light you’ll see through your telescope or binoculars will take four hours to reach you. That translates into a distance between Earth and Uranus of 2.7 billion miles, or 4.4 billion kilometers.

Uranus, Earth and the Sun at opposition
Uranus, Earth and the Sun at opposition

On October 15 the planet will be at “opposition,” meaning that, as the sun sets in the west that evening, the planet will rise in the east — on the opposite side of the sky as the Sun. That’s because at that time Earth will be directly between Uranus and the Sun.

Uranus has 27 known moons, including its famous five large moons, which were discovered before the space age. The remaining 22 were discovered by Voyager 2 and the Hubble Space Telescope. While most of the satellites orbiting other planets take their names from Greek mythology, Uranus’ moons are unique in being named for Shakespearean characters, along with a couple of the moons being named for characters from the works of Alexander Pope.

Relative sizes of Earth and Uranus
Relative sizes of Earth and Uranus

The planet was discovered in 1781 by the British astronomer William Herschel, who initially thought the planet was a comet. Once he realized what he had actually discovered, Herschel wanted to name the planet “Georgium Sidus” (George’s Star), after King George III. But astronomers decided instead to name the planet after the Greek god Uranus, the husband of Gaia — Mother Earth.

Uranus cartoon
Image Credit: NASA

Get our Moon Tweets!

The Twitter Moon
Our Moon Tweets let you know when the Moon is in a Name A Star Live constellation.

Did you know you can use the Moon to identify where your star’s constellation is in the night sky? Follow us on Twitter where we let you know when the Moon appears in a Name A Star constellation (area of the night sky).

Name A Star Live offers some really good tools to learn about the night sky and find your star’s constellation. Visit our website to learn about our Virtual Planetarium software, planisphere constellation finder, and First Light Astronomy Kit!

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest!

Spooky Sights and Sounds from Outer Space!

October’s the month for Halloween, and Name A Star Live can help you get in the mood for trick-or-treating! Here are some spooky sights and sounds from outer space.

First, let’s set the scene with some scary space sounds! Before scrolling down this webpage any further, turn up your speakers or headphones, and start this video of some eerie sounds from Saturn:

Let’s start with a witch who resides just outside the Name A Star Live constellation Orion:

The Witch Head Nebula
The Witch Head Nebula. Image Credit: NASA/STScI Digitized Sky Survey/Noel Carboni

As frightening as this witch may be, no need to fear: She’s about 800 light-years away, and so won’t be casting any spells on us for a long time to come! She’s actually a giant collection of dust particles that is reflecting light off of a star named “Rigel” in Orion.

The Ghost Nebula
The Ghost Nebula. Image Credit: Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona

I ain’t afraid of no ghosts — especially when they’re 1,200 light-years away! This phantom of the night haunts the constellation Cepheus, which borders the Name A Star Live constellations Cassiopeia and Cygnus.

The Ghost of the Sisters
The Ghost of the Seven Sisters. Image Credit: NASA/ESA and The Hubble Heritage Team STScI/AURA), George Herbig and Theodore Simon (University of Hawaii)

This ghost is located a little closer to Earth, at 380 light-years away in the Name A Star Live constellation Taurus. It’s part of the Pleiades star cluster (a.k.a. “The Seven Sisters”), which many people confuse with the Little Dipper. Let’s hope this ghost doesn’t get any closer to Earth!

Ghost Head Nebula
The Ghost Head Nebula. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Mohammad Heydari-Malayeri (Observatoire de Paris) et al.

The Ghost Head Nebula, or NGC 2080, is a star-forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way Galaxy visible from the southern hemisphere of Earth. The nebula spans about 50 light-years across.

Black Widow Nebula
The Black Widow Nebula. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Wisc.

What’s Halloween without spiders? The Black Widow Nebula hangs in her web in the southern hemisphere constellation Circinus. But arachnophobes have no fear! This spider from the depths of space is actually a stellar nursery. In this Spitzer Space Telescope image, the two opposing bubbles are being formed in opposite directions by the powerful outflows from massive groups of forming stars. The baby stars can be seen as specks of yellow where the two bubbles overlap.  So upon seeing the Black Widow nebula, instead of screaming shouts of terror, we should say, “Aw, how cute!”

Mimas and the Death Star
The Death Star from “Star Wars,” and Mimas, moon of Saturn. Image Credits: Pinterest.com and NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Much closer to home than any of the nebulae presented above, Mimas — a moon of Saturn — appears ready to blast Earth out of existence! We better keep a close eye on this scary menace!

Jack-O'-Lantern Sun
The jack-o’-lantern Sun. Image Credit: NASA/SDO

Finally, we wish you a Happy Halloween with this solar image showing active regions on the Sun that combined to look something like a jack-o-lantern’s face on October 8, 2014.  This image blends together two sets of extreme ultraviolet wavelengths to create a particularly Halloween-like appearance.

We hope you’ve enjoyed these spooky sights and sounds!

 

October’s Starry Skies

SaturnYou can see some really neat things in the night sky this October: planets, shooting stars, and some rare, eery morning light called the “False Dawn”! You can use the Moon to find many of the interesting sights overhead this month, including Saturn. In fact, Saturn is getting lower and lower in the sky, and October will be the last chance to get a good view of Saturn in 2016.

Using the Moon to find Venus, Mars and Saturn
The Moon on the evening of Oct. 7 as it will appear from the northern hemisphere. The constellation Scorpius is highlighted. You can use the Moon to find Venus, Saturn and Mars in early October.

October 3 — Look for Venus near the thin, crescent Moon over your western horizon near sunset. Venus will be the brightest point of light low on the horizon, near the Moon.

October 5 & 6 — The Moon will appear near the beautiful, ringed planet Saturn, which will be hovering near the constellation Scorpius.

October 7 & 8 — The Moon will appear near the red planet Mars.

The Moon on October 8, 2016
The Moon as it will appear from Sydney, Australia and other parts of the southern hemisphere on October 8, 2016. The Moon will also appear to pass by Venus, Saturn and Mars in early October.
Uranus near the Moon
Uranus near the Moon the night of Oct. 15, 2016

On October 15 the planet Uranus will reach its maximum brightness for the year. So pull out your telescope and take a peek! Uranus will be easy to spot as it will appear next to the Moon that night. Through a telescope it will appear as either a grey circle or a faint green dot, depending on whether you have a small or large telescope, respectively.

The Moon near the Hyades
The Moon near the V-shaped group of stars called the “Hyades” the morning of October 19. The Pleiades star cluster appears nearby (to the right in this image). If you’re in the southern hemisphere, this image will appear rotated clockwise about 90-degrees in your pre-dawn sky the morning of October 20, 2016.

If you’re an early bird, you can use the Moon in the pre-dawn skies to see a couple of beautiful sites in October. On October 19 the Moon will be near the “Hyades” star cluster, which is a V-shaped group of stars in the constellation Taurus. Nearby is another cluster of stars known as the “Pleiades.” Many people confuse the Pleiades with the Little Dipper, which is actually located over the northern horizon. And on October 28, the thin, crescent Moon will appear near Jupiter, the king of the planets, in the east near sunrise.

October’s Shooting Stars

Watching a meteor shower
The best way to view a meteor shower is to lie back in a comfortable lawn chair and look up — no telescope needed!

The Orionid meteor shower peaks before dawn on October 21, although you can see its shooting stars from October 2 through November 7. To get the best view, lie down outside with the Moon at your back in the pre-dawn hours. It’s called the “Orionid meteor shower” (a.k.a., “the Orionids”) because the shooting stars all appear to fly out of the constellation Orion. The meteors are leftover dust particles from the many visits of Halley’s Comet every 75 years to our neck of the solar system. Each October, as Earth passes through the dust trail left behind by Halley’s Comet, the meteors burn up in the atmosphere as “shooting stars.” Actually, Halley’s Comet is responsible for two meteor showers each year: the Orionid meteor shower each fall and the “Eta Aquarid” meteor shower each spring.

October’s False Dawn

Zodiacal Light
Artist’s rendering of zodiacal light, a triangular, faint area of cosmic light extending from the ground (center, right) up, and toward the left. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

If you live far from city lights, consider waking up early sometime in the first half of October and look for the “False Dawn” — a beautiful, triangle-shaped glow of cosmic light that appears in the eastern sky before sunrise. See our blog article about “Fall’s False Dawn” for details.


Get our Moon Tweets!

The Twitter Moon
Our Moon Tweets let you know when the Moon is in a Name A Star Live constellation.

Did you know you can use the Moon to identify where your star’s constellation is in the night sky? Follow us on Twitter where we let you know when the Moon appears in a Name A Star constellation (area of the night sky).

Name A Star Live offers some really good tools to learn about the night sky and find your star’s constellation. Visit our website to learn about our Virtual Planetarium software, planisphere constellation finder, and First Light Astronomy Kit!

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest!

Fall’s False Dawn

Zodiacal Light
A glow called the zodiacal light can be seen in the sky before sunrise for two weeks beginning in late September. It’s formed by sunlight scattered off of dust near the plane of Earth’s orbit. Credit: Yuri Beletsky/ESO Paranal

A beautiful, triangle-shaped glow of cosmic light appears in the eastern sky before sunrise for two weeks, from late September through mid-October for those of you who live in mid-northern latitudes (e.g., most of the US, southern Europe, Japan, northern China).  Called the “zodiacal light” (as the triangle of light extends from the sun along the constellations of the zodiac), this wondrous apparition can be viewed only if you are in a dark location, far away from bright, city lights.  The zodiacal light will appear slightly dimmer than the Milky Way, and will rise up through the zodiacal constellations Leo, Cancer and Gemini.

Zodiacal Dust Cloud

Zodiacal light is caused by the reflection of sunlight off of dust particles in the plane of the solar system. It’s viewable during the spring and summer of each year. Quoting NASA, “Zodiacal light is so bright this time of year because the dust band is oriented nearly vertical at sunrise, so that the thick air near the horizon does not block out relatively bright reflecting dust. Zodiacal light is also bright for people in Earth’s northern hemisphere in March and April just after sunset.”


Did you know you can use the Moon to find constellations in the night sky? Follow us on Twitter where we post information each day about what constellation (area of the night sky) the Moon is in that evening.

Name A Star Live offers some really good tools to learn about the night sky and find your star’s constellation. Visit our website to learn about our Virtual Planetarium software, planisphere constellation finder, and First Light Astronomy Kit!

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest!

Scorpius in September

Butterfly Nebula
The Butterfly Nebula in the constellation Scorpius. Image Credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble

The bright clusters and nebulae of planet Earth’s night sky are often named for flowers or insects. Though its wingspan covers over 3 light-years, the Butterfly Nebula (a.k.a. NGC 6302) in the constellation Scorpius is no exception. With an estimated surface temperature of about 250,000 degrees C, the dying central star of this particular planetary nebula has become exceptionally hot, shining brightly in ultraviolet light but hidden from direct view by a dense torus of dust.

Cutting across a bright cavity of ionized gas, the dust torus surrounding the central star is near the center of this view, almost edge-on to the line-of-sight. Molecular hydrogen has been detected in the hot star’s dusty cosmic shroud. The Butterfly Nebula lies about 4,000 light-years away in the arachnologically correct constellation of the Scorpion (Scorpius).

Saturn
Saturn

While you need the Hubble Space Telescope to get such a spectacular view of an object like this in Scorpius, there are other neat things you can see in Scorpius with an amateur telescope or just a plain pair of binoculars.

The beautiful, ringed planet Saturn and the red planet Mars are both just to the east of the prominent, summertime constellation Scorpius. If you live in the northern hemisphere of Earth, look for Scorpius toward the south-southwest after sunset. Its brightest stars outline a large “J” in the night sky. Mars, Saturn and Scorpius’ bright, red star Antares form a triangle in the night sky.

Scorpius, Mars and Saturn
The constellation Scorpius, with Mars and Saturn, in mid-September 2016

While you need a telescope in order to get a good view of Mars and Saturn, with a simple pair of binoculars you can see two famous, open clusters of stars. Look for the two “stinger” stars at the tail end of Scorpius. Draw an imaginary line through them and extend the line eastward to Ptolemy’s Cluster (a.k.a. “M7”). M7 is about 800 light-years from Earth. In other words, the light you’ll see from this star cluster was generated 800 years ago! Just up and somewhat westward from Ptolemy’s Cluster is the Butterfly Cluster (a.k.a. “M6”), which is about 1,600 light-years from Earth. You should be able to see both M6 and M7 simultaneously through a pair of binoculars.

BTW, don’t confuse the Butterfly Cluster of star with the Butterfly Nebula. While they’re both in Scorpius, they are located in entirely different areas of the constellation.

Scorpius, Saturn, Mars
Scorpius as viewed from the southern hemisphere in mid-September 2016

If You’re in the Southern Hemisphere

If you’re in the southern hemisphere of Earth look for Scorpius high in the sky after sunset. The brighter stars of the constellation will form an upside-down letter “J”. Because Mars and Saturn will be much higher in the sky, you should get a better view of those two planets than observers in the northern hemisphere.


Don’t miss the Harvest Moon!

Harvest Moon
The Harvest Moon will occur on September 16, 2016.

The Harvest Moon in the northern hemisphere occurs Friday, September 16. The Harvest Moon is defined as the full Moon closest to the autumnal equinox. Full Moon occurs at 3:05 pm EDT (7:05 pm GMT) September 16. So grab your scythe, get out there and harvest the crops! If nothing else, take a peek at the beautiful full Moon tonight!

Did you know you can use the Moon to find constellations in the night sky? Follow us on Twitter where we post information each day about what constellation (area of the night sky) the Moon is in that evening.

Name A Star Live offers some really good tools to learn about the night sky and find your star’s constellation. Visit our website to learn about our Virtual Planetarium software, planisphere constellation finder, and First Light Astronomy Kit!

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest!

Throw a star party!

Space costumes
Consider throwing a space costume party! Image Credit: NASA/Sean Smith

Looking for new ideas for entertaining guests? Maybe your child has a birthday coming up, you want to have a few co-workers from the office over, or you’d like to celebrate a special occasion with family and friends? Then throw a star party! Name A Star Live can help. Here are some ideas:

Show your friends where your star is in the night sky

Using our Virtual Planetarium astronomy software you can see when your star’s constellation will be visible. Plan for a rain date — a backup date — for your party, just in case Mother Nature clouds over your night sky.

Friends stargazingShow your star, the Moon and planets with your telescope

Again, using our Virtual Planetarium software you can see when the Moon and planets will be visible as well — think how neat it would be to show your guests the rings of Saturn! Don’t own a telescope? See our blog article about telescope buying tips. Your Name A Star Live Star Chart shows the position of your star within its constellation.

Space birthday cake
A space-themed birthday cake! Image Credit: Pinterest.com
Astronaut ice cream
Image Credit: Pinterest.com

Party supplies for the kids

Mars bars and Milky Way bars are always a good choice for a star party.

Kids like freeze dried astronaut ice cream and freeze dried astronaut fruit packs. But as an alternative, consider getting your kids to make their own astronaut pudding.

There are all sorts of decorations and fun activities for the kids you can create yourself.  Visit this “PBS Parents” webpage for some really neat ideas for a space-themed birthday party.

Space drink
A space-themed mixed drink for adults. Image Credit: Pinterest.com

Party supplies for adults

There’s a lot of overlap between party supplies for kids and adults. But for the adults at your party you’ll likely want to provide some space-themed cocktails and finger foods.

There are many websites that provide recipes for space-themed cocktails and food. Click here and here for some sites we like. But you can just prepare common cocktails and give them spacey names, like the “Moon Shot,” the “Romulan Fizz,” or the “Milky Way.” And for fans of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy you’ll find a number of recipes online for the famous “Pangalactic Gargleblaster” that, in the Hitchhikers Guide, was invented by ex-President of the Universe Zaphod Beeblebrox! See, for example, this recipe.

Black light party
A black light helps set the scene for an out-of-this-world party!

Other Ideas

Use a black light to set an eery space mood!

Play some space-themed music — perhaps music from 2001: A Space Odyssey or from other sci-fi greats.

Consider offering a door prize: Perhaps Name A Star Live’s Virtual Planetarium astronomy software, or a Planisphere constellation finder.

A few days before your party, check out NASA’s easy-t0-use “Spot the Station” website to see if the International Space Station will fly overhead during your star party. It’s easy to see — even inside bright cities! To see what other satellites — such as the Hubble Space Telescope — that will fly overhead during your party, check out Heavens-Above.com.

Have fun!

How to throw a space party