MomTalk.com February 25, 2021:   The women's magazine for moms about children, family, health, home, fashion, careers, marriage & more

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Stargazing: Things Are Looking Up -- And So Are We


By Elizabeth Wells

The sky is full of stories waiting to be discovered. For centuries, people have seen these same points of light in the night sky. Stories borne out of the many constellations that eyes around the world have spent hours gazing up at, have been passed on from generation to generation. We can see these same images and share these same stories today. All you need is a clear night, a little patience, and some imagination.

A family in Los Angeles suggests adding the perfect background music. "Starwatching," by The Happy Crowd provides lyrics that are right on target: "What a beautiful sight....We put our blanket out on the lawn...and we're star watching, what a beautiful night."

To prepare for a fun and successful night of star-gazing, you'll need a star map and a story or two about the major constellations. The Internet has many sites that provide these maps and stories. These sites include:

* emufarm.org/~cmbell/myth/myth.htm
* windows.umich.edu
* einstein.stcloudstate.edu/Dome

Let the kids know that there is a special event planned for them, gather your star map, a flashlight, a small notebook and a printout of a mythological story or two. You'll also want to include a few creature comforts such as lawn chairs, blankets, and bug spray. A Pennsylvania mom promised a late night treat but with a trade-off--the kids spent some extra time in their rooms in the afternoon. That night, the same mom put red bandannas over the ends of the flashlights to keep the ambient light at a minimum..

You can view many of the stars from your yard, or a safe park or rooftop if you're in a city-- just avoid house and streetlights as best you can. The best viewing is away from city lights. If you have access to a safe country location, your results will be even better. You'll notice that more stars become visible while you wait the half hour that it takes your eyes to fully adjust.
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