Sunday, February 12, 2012

Star Gazing

Winter is a great time for star gazing.  It might be a little chilly, but you also don't have to stay up as late.  With longer nights we have more chance to see the stars in the night sky. 

If you're forturnate enough to live a little distance from a city you'll have a view of thousands of stellar objects and even a few planets!

This week we visited our local planetarium and heard a guest lecturer speak about the constellations and asterisms in the winter sky. 

We learned how to navigate by the winter hexagon to find the 6 corner stars: Capella, Aldearan, Rigel, Sirius, Procyon and the twins Castor and Pollux.  Within this figure can be found Taurus, Orion, Canis Major, Canis Minor and Gemini. 

We learned the mythology of the twins Pollux and Castor, one mortal one immortal: both together in the night sky for all eternity.  We chuckled at The Harry Potter References of Sirius (and the dog stars) and Bellatrix (LeStrange.)    

If you don't have a planetarium in your area, you can still find your way around the night sky with the help of a sky map.

Interesting thing to note: Homeschool outing are often great Date Night ideas!

For more information about the astronomy scene in your area visit the Royal Astronomical Society website. 

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