The Observatory is one of the activities on the Third Floor in JumpStart Adventures 3rd Grade: Mystery Mountain. It consists of three parts, one which is merely an arcade game, one which teaches grammar, especially sentence structure, and one which teaches astronomy.
In the Observatory, Polly announces that she has sent one of her father's spaceships, containing a Mission Clue or Invention Points, into deep space. She then beams a radio wave containing a clue as to the spaceship's whereabouts into a black hole. The station is in the room. The user must then blast the clue, in the form of four to six "radio packets", out of the black hole before it is "sucked into another dimension". Afterwards, the user must decode the clue with the Professor's Alien Transmission Decoding Device (which Botley claims Professor Spark hasn't been used in a while since there are no alien signals to find) in a grammar activity, in which the words in sentences are jumbled up and must be re-arranged into a correct sentence. Once the hint is unscrambled, the user must use the Professor's star chart to determine which constellation Polly has sent the missing spaceship to. When the spacecraft arrives at the Observatory, the robot pilot exits the ship and presents the Mission Clue or Invention Points.
The star chart has constellations in the night sky.
- Corona Borealis
- Ursa Major
- Ursa Minor
Difficulty level differences
- Level one: Four space packets need to be collected, asteroids appear.
- Level two: Six space packets need to be collected, asteroids appear.
- Level three: Six space packets need to be collected, asteroids and comets appear.
The Signal Decoder
- Level one: Four sentences
- Level two: Six sentences
- Level three: Six sentences with a slash between the words
The Signal Decoder
- "Great! You decoded the entire hint!"
- "Decoding operation is completed! You broke the code!"
- "Way to go! You nailed the code!"
The Star Chart
- "Click on any of the constellations and this machine will tell you a little bit about it."
When Clicking on the Wrong Constellation
- "Nothing happened! I don't think that's the right constellation! Try again!"
- "Hey! There are a lot of stars out there! Just because the spaceship isn't in that constellation doesn't mean we won't find it in our next try."
- "Well I guess the spaceship's not in that constellation. No problem! Let's try another!"
- "(name of constellation) It's in the Southern/Northern hemisphere."
When Clicking on the Right Constellation
- "Hear that! You must be right! And here comes a spaceship!"
- "Way to go! You picked the right constellation and now our ship is heading back here."
- "Hey! You're right on target! Here comes a spaceship!"
Digital manual description
What's up in the Observatory?
When Polly hid the Mission Clues, she didn't run out of space, she ran into outer space! That's right. Polly blasted some Mission Clues and Invention Points into the heart of several constellations. There is a hint, but Polly's transmitted it as a radio wave and sent it heading straight into a black hole. You've got your work cut out for you, here. You'll find the observatory on the third floor of the Mountain Mansion.
Black Hole Blaster
Now that you're in the Observatory, you can use one of the Professor's deep space probes to shoot at the radio waves and knock them out of the black hole.
Warning: Asteroids and comets are common in this area of the universe!
- To start, click on the Telescope.
- To spin your probe, use the arrow keys on your keyboard.
- To shoot, hit the space bar on your keyboard or click the Shoot button on the Utility Belt.
- Destroy the asteroids before they hit you. Get hit too many times and your spaceship is history.
- Of course comets are too big to destroy so easily, but if you turn the probe's back to it, you just might deflect it without sustaining too much damage.
- If your probe is destroyed, another will replace it until you run out.
- When you've collected all the radio waves, you're ready to unscramble the clues in the Alien Signal Decoder.
The Alien Signal Decoder
Professor Spark loves to search the sky for signs of life in outer space, and just in case he finds it, he's built this Alien Signal Decoder to help him communicate. Luckily, it will also help you decode the scrambled radio waves of Polly's hint that you blasted out of the black hole and put the words into the right order.
- Click on a piece of Polly's hint. Drag it to any other part of the unscrambling window.
- Click again to release the piece.
In Level 3, the hint will include words you don't need.
- Click on the word or set of words you don't want and move it to the Space Disposal Unit located on the right side of the Decoder.
- When you've unscrambled the hint, you're ready to identify the constellation.
Far Out Star Chart
Once you've unscrambled Polly's hint using the Alien Signal Decoder, move on to the Professor's star chart to locate the correct constellation.
- Click on the round star chart on the left side of the Observatory.
- To change the star chart display from the northern to the southern hemisphere, click on the Globe.
Move your pointer over the stars to see the lines of different constellations appear.
- Click on any constellation to hear something about it.
- When you think you've identified the constellation where Polly sent her father's space ship, click on it.
- If you're right, the space ship will come zooming back to the Observatory and its robot pilot will present you with the Mission Clue or Invention Points.
- Botley mentioned that Polly once was caught spying on the neighbours with the telescope thus Professor Spark grounded her.
- Hydra is replaced by Hydrus.
- The Argo is a ship of constellations.
- There are two hemispheres of constellations.
- There are four spaceships needed to shoot the radio packets.