We've enjoyed being outside with the girls and especially watching the sky with them. Its very dark at our new house since we are far from any street lights, which makes the star gazing absolutely amazing. Seriously.
This week has been especially fun, with all the organizing credit going to John (okay, and the folks at NASA, too). John signed up for Spot the Station, a free program by NASA that will send you text or email alerts telling you when the International Space Station is visible in your area. John has been spotting the ISS for a few months now, but this week the timing was at the perfect time in the evening when we could all bundle up and sit outside together. It was very cool to see and to think about the astronauts on board (the NASA website is also very cool). Space stuff is always a little mind boggling to me in all of its paradoxes: far away but visible, empty but infinite.
|Left to Right: Windows, Space Station, Jupiter|
Last night, we bundled up for another adventure - watching a meteor shower! The peak time was at 3:00 AM, but there was no moon or clouds, so they were visible for most of the night. We took the girls out from 7-8PM and made a cozy bed in the back of the truck and watched patiently. We probably saw two dozen shooting stars, and the girls were thrilled with each sighting. You can keep up with what you can see in the sky each night at EarthSky, although John says sometimes you have to google around for meteor showers and comet sights. He got up again at 3 to watch at the peak time, and said he saw 75 shooting stars that were brilliant! I'd say that was worth losing sleep.
It seems fitting to marvel at the stars during the Christmas season. It reminds me of one of my favorite Christmas Carols, O Holy Night. I prefer the version with the coffee commercial, but I couldn't find it, so here's one with a scene from the Nativity Story. Happy star gazing to all!