Spectacular Planet Show & More!

May 10th, 2011 by ClickSchooling Leave a reply »

Hi!  It’s Tuesday, May 10, 2011 and time for Science at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:
NASA: Space Weather News

Age Range:  All

One of my fondest memories of homeschooling, was waking my kids up in the pre-dawn hours to witness celestial events and space shuttle fly-bys. Consider starting this tradition with your own family beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, May 11th. NASA reports that you can watch a spectacular planetary gathering

“Look out any east-facing window about a half hour before sunrise. If you have a clear view of the horizon, you’ll see Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter clustered together in a patch of sky less than 10 degrees wide.

The best morning is May 11th, when Venus and Jupiter converge to form a tight pair only 1/2 degree apart. Venus and Jupiter are so bright you might think you’ve witnessed a double supernova beaming through the morning twilight. But, no, it’s just the two brightest planets in our own solar system.”

At today’s website you can learn more about this event by watching a free ScienceCast video that includes an animated sky map.

NASA also reports that, “on May 13th, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter form a bright celestial triangle–almost equilateral. It’s a geometry lesson before breakfast.”

The show comes to an end on May 30th when an exquisite crescent Moon joins the four planets for a Grand Finale–five heavenly lights dotting the eastern sky all at once.”

If your family enjoys the real-time space event, you may want to further the learning with a virtual tour of space at this website…

SpaceWander.com

When you get to this site, sit back and relax as you watch the 12-minute presentation that simulates a trip to outer space using real NASA photos of planets, nebulas, and more. There is a sound component for part of this presentation, but most of the information is delivered through text that is flashed on the screen. Non-readers will need assistance.

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