Sky Watching-moon, stars and clouds

Complete eclipse blood moon

Complete eclipse blood moon

 

 

Vacations are best when everyone in the family can find fun things to do. Each of us is an individual with likes and dislikes. Going on vacation means different things to differ people. Some like daring and exciting physical recreation. They may be into rigorous extreme sports. Others think of vacation as baking in the sun on a beach and sipping a fancy drink with an umbrella in it. All some want to do is to have time to unwind and read for their perfect vacation. For some the ideal involves dancing the night away. One thing we can all agree on is the fact that keeping busy at whatever you like is the best getaway. Even if that means doing nothing.

You may not have thought of it as an activity but, watching the sky can be an interesting way to spend some time especially for the kids. Recently, we experienced the viewing of the blood moon and eclipse. It was outstanding here in New Mexico where the skies are always impressive at any time of day. The unobstructed view, larger than life sky and clarity of the night made it a perfect experience. Because this event could not take place for another 33 years it gained even more urgency to experience it. There is a very good chance we will not be here for the next one as we are seniors. Older kids may have found the activity stimulating especially if astronomy is of any interest to them. Most adults that saw it were excited they did. Dan took some photos but, not all came out perfectly as he never photographed something like this before. Some were very good.

If you have kids who like star gazing, this would be a wonderful way to spend an evening. Make an event of it. Let the kids stay up later than usual. Carefully arrange a blanket in a place where you can all snuggle if the night turns c old. Put them in sleeping bags or just cuddle together under blankets. Don’t forget the snacks since every event needs food. Get a map of the stars for older kids to let them find constellations. Do a little homework on your own to help the young ones find the more common ones like The Big Dipper. It may spark a permanent interest in sky watching and a telescope may be in someone’s future. Don’t worry if it doesn’t lead to anything. At least your children were exposed to another dimension of study and enjoyment. Never a bad thing. One thing it does for all of us at any age is to remind us of how small we are, how insignificant. It may be a conversation started on if there is life somewhere else on another planet. Conversations of Aliens and UFO’s could be fun. Just keep t form being frightening to smaller kids.

During the day it is not as exciting for many people but, everyone can get into the act of finding familiar shapes in the clouds. Even adults like imagining that a cloud looks like a bird or a horse or a guitar. It can be played in the car while driving with all but the person driving. A fun game to pass the time.

All photos by Dan Wentzel

 

 Beginning of eclipse


Beginning of eclipse

Half the eclipse

Half the eclipse

Two thirds eclipse

Two thirds eclipse

Close to complete eclipse

Close to complete eclipse

Complete eclipse blood moon

Complete eclipse blood moon

 

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