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Starry Starry Night: DIY Constellations

No telescope needed...

There are few sights more magical than a starry night.

Unfortunately for those who live in cities, such a sight—even without cloud cover to obscure the view—is usually marred by light pollution.

However, it is possible to simulate the experience with a bit of imagination and some Glow Dots.


The only prep needed is to make sure the ceiling and walls are dust-free, so that the dots will stick. For folks who just want a “starry ceiling,” that is really it. Just randomly stick the dots up, turn on the lights for about 5-minutes before you are ready for bed, and enjoy!

For those who want to apply the dots in a pattern closer to what they would see in the sky without the light pollution, a little more work is required:

  • Decide on the “special” day/time (birthday, anniversary, etc) you want to “see.”
  • Screen-grab the views of the sky from all four compass directions
  • Invert the image and print them out

We used the Star Walk app for the views because it let us easily punch in the exact date/time of the night of interest.

We screen-grabbed the views, inverted the image so the stars were easier to see (and there to not waste a ton of toner printing a black sky), and printed the pages so we could orient things properly relative to the room’s walls.


The Glow Dots are dome-shaped and come in three different sizes. We used the largest ones for the constellations, and the medium and tiny ones for simulating the Milky Way.

With the printed pages properly laid out, it was just a matter of going up and down the step ladder and pressing on the dots…some 600+times

Putting up the various constellations was straight forward. The Milky Way, however, was harder to recreate. We “clustered” the dots to see if it would simulate the effect, but won’t know if the density was sufficient until after sun down. Of course, we can always go back and add more dots, so the focus was to get the shape more or less right 🙂

BTW, after pressing up 606 dots, your finger tip WILL hurt 🙂 Just know that going in. Also, if you have dexterity issues, stick with the larger dots.

Night Sky

So after all the work, what does it look like? Well, it worked a lot better than we had thought. While it isn’t as bright as if we had drilled holes in the ceiling and installed fiber-optics, the project took only a few hours to complete.

Definitely a worthy RainyDayProject!

The Big Dipper…to the North

Simulated light pollution

The night sky – indoors

The Dip

The Milky Way…to the South

Pisces…to the East

Pisces…to the East – different view

Amazon link

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