Spend Quality Time Under The Stars
Observing the universe is a great way to connect with those around you. Whether with your spouse or your children… your sibling or just a good friend, the endless expanse of our cosmic backdrop offers some amazing opportunities to strengthen your bonds and kindle new-relationships. Simply standing in awe under a clear night sky, with the glistening Milky-Way arching overhead and can be enough to improve or gain some perspective on problems, relationships and life in general. In this section, we’d like to recommend some additional ways for you to get the most out of your quality time under the stars.
For ourselves and many others, learning about our cosmic neighborhood and its greater context is a humbling endeavor, capable of inspiring important reflections into our lives and our situations. This vastness of scale makes us feel more connected to those by our side much like a meditative experience that causes us to connect more intentionally with our own lives.
The best way to ensure an eventful evening is to come prepared with a list of objects that are visible in your local sky and the appropriate equipment you will need in order to see them. There are many resources you can use to familiarize yourself with your local sky, from a star chart or planisphere to various software applications and phone apps that make it very simple (marvels of the modern age we live in). Knowing what planets and constellations will be visible based on the season and in which hemisphere you are located is a good place to start. Once you have an idea of what you would like to view, you can select the proper equipment to suit the task. (For more information on selecting appropriate equipment, please refer to our Beginner Skygazer’s Guide)
Ideally everyone involved is happily engaged and enthralled by the majesty of the universe beaming down at them from space… but we don’t always live in an ideal world and we need strategies to capture the attention of our favorite little future-astronomers. So, for kids, here are some great tips to generate interest and enthusiasm for learning about the cosmos.
Have the kids do the planning
A great way to get young ones involved in the moment is to properly set up their expectations for the night’s viewing session. Go over the constellations that will be appearing during your time of year and any potential planets that may be visible as well.
Hands-on activities and crafts, like putting together their very own star chart or constellation map is almost certain to help them orient themselves and give them exciting goals to shoot for once the fun begins.
Making time for our budding enthusiasts
Ultimately, the goal is to create a memorable, fun experience to foment the kind of interest we would like to see in all our children. Whether they grow up to be astronomers is secondary to generating a healthy understanding of our place in the universe and the skills to explore and discover new ideas.