This past summer I had the opportunity to head down to Pinery at night a few times to watch the sun go down and let the stars come out. Did you know that my lad thoroughly enjoys the quiet of watching a night sky? It’s just a nice time to sit, talk, or even just sit in silence observing. Then peeking at the moon at it starts to shine? Oh, it’s marvellous to be out under the stars.
The other day we were out later than expected and we were able sit out under the stars and watch the fireflies flitting around under the night sky. We grabbed out the lawn chairs and then sat together watching and laughing together. It was a lovely time together that too often we don’t take. Computers and household chores too often get in the way don’tcha know?
Over the years we’ve had opportunities to learn more about the night sky. Two years ago he went with his Cadet Corp to the London Observatory. Hume Cronyn Memorial Observatory is located at Western University, if offers classes in Exploring the Stars as well as allowing the public to book private viewing times. Canada has a number of observatories that are well worth checking out.
Understanding the vocabulary
Just as with any field of study, astronomy has its own specific language. As you observe the night sky you’ll be introduced to such words as zenith, meridan, eclipse and more. This video gives you a bit of an introduction. You’ll also find a large list through vocabulary lists.
Books and Resources to Help in Explorations
Ooh.. talking books! This is always fun!
50 things to see in the sky is a helpful book with simple drawings introducing you to 50 different elements to look for in the night sky. From things you can see with the naked eye, to items you’ll need a telescope or an observatory.
Did you know there are places around the world that are tourist attractions just because of their unique perspectives on the night sky? You can see things there that are specific to an area. I found Dark Skies to be fascinating. So many phenomena I had not known about.
I’ve looked at a lot of books about the moon, exploring the moon, going to the moon, rockets and what not. I’ve made a list of many of them.
Crafts and Activities
In my geography area on my pinterest board you’ll find a number of solar system/moon/outer space ideas to explore. From making solar system project, to using marshmallows to make constellations, or learning about women in space. These is just so much to learn about our expanding universe it’s so interesting to learn about.
In my science board you’ll discover a number solar based science activities and experiments. Doing the moon phases, solar activities, or learning about sun sneezing. 🙂 It’s amazing all you’ll discover under the stars. Stars, galaxies, constellations, black holes, and more. So much to see as we stand here looking up at the beauty above us.
One of the things my son really enjoyed making and led to an impromptu study of the night skys, constellations etc, was when we made this light planetarium from Kiwi Crates. This was such a good project for us to do and he asked so many questions and we learned so much about how planetariums work and the fun of looking for stars and constellations in the night sky. This book is a Planetarium came in very handy.
So what about you? Do you get stilled to silence at the beauty above us? Do you find it fun to see what constellations you can find? Have you taken the time to study the solar system with your children? What is the most amazing thing that you have discovered about what’s out there?