Big News in the Night Sky

image of lunar far sideThis Saturday, the night sky might look a little different than normal.  Besides being full, the moon will also appear much larger.  This huge, full moon called an “extreme supermoon” marks when the moon will be closest to Earth in its orbit than in the last 18 years.  The best time to view the celestial spectacle will be around 7 p.m. when it should appear “huge and orangey” said astronomer Arnold Pearlstein.  This will be a great opportunity to get the kids outside and tell them a bit about the night sky.

 But the supermoon isn’t the only exciting thing happening in space, Mercury is also getting some attention with NASA’s attempt to get the first spacecraft into its orbit.  The spacecraft, named the Messenger, has been travelling for six-and-a-half years and has trekked nearly 5 billion miles.  It will be entering into Mercury’s orbit to circle the planet for a year and begin surveying its surface, to collect vital information about how the planet has formed and evolved. 

MeetPlanets.phpWith all this extraterrestrial news, kids might be getting curious about the planets and the moon. One of our newest books, Meet the Planets by John McGranahan, might be able to help you out with any questions they might have. The story follows all the planets in the first ever Favorite Planet Competition which is hosted by dwarf-planet Pluto. Along with learning all about the planets, kids can gain knowledge on the constellations, famous astronomers, and space technology. 

Moon.phpAnother one of our books, How the Moon Regained Her Shape, could also be handy in teaching your children about the night sky.  This story by Janet Ruth Heller has roots in Native American folk tales and deals with bullying, self confidence and the phases of the moon. The book made the IRA-CBC Children’s Choice List 2009 and won both the 2007 PMA Ben Franklin Award and the 2007 Gold Moonbeam Award.


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