Star Projector

You can watch the night sky inside your own home with this simple do-it-yourself projector — invite your friends and have a star show!

KAI: I like to make things and learn about things in my own way. I’m Kai and I’m a hacker.

KAI: We have a special relationship to the stars. We study the skies and learn about the universe. And a few of the stars we tell stories about who we are. If you live in the city, you may not be able to see a lot of stars at night, but hey, you can make your own planetarium. This hack will let you see constellations anywhere at your home, even your bathroom. Here’s what you’ll need to make your own star projector: cardboard paper, light construction paper, or even a cereal box, a nice and pointy pencil or a push pin, scissors, flashlight, tape, aluminum foil, and some Styrofoam or wood surface, and finally you’ll need a map of constellations. You’ll find this in a book or online. Just wrap the paper into a tube like so and tape it together. This will take patience. Then cut a bit off each end and put some tape along the edges. Once you have your tube nice and secure with tape, you can start creating your constellation disc. Start by making a large strip of aluminum foil that can be folded over the end of your projector. Next, you put your paper constellation over the aluminum foil cover and start poking your pen or sharp pencil through the paper and foil. This will poke out your stars. I put a piece of Styrofoam underneath while I do this.

KAI: Then, carefully tape the aluminum cover over the end of the projector and get ready to see your stars. Put your flashlight in the smaller end, dim the lights, and see the night sky light up in your very own home.