Here are some additional ideas and resources to spark more curiosity about astronauts, the atmosphere and outer space:
What is an “astronaut,” anyway?
The word “astronaut” comes from the Greek words meaning “space sailor.” An astronaut is anyone who has been launched as a crew member aboard NASA spacecraft bound for orbit and beyond. According to NASA, The term “astronaut” has been maintained as the title for those selected to join the NASA corps of astronauts who make “space sailing” their career profession.
So You Think You Want to Be An Astronaut?
Everything you want to know about what it takes to be an astronaut can be found on NASA’s website: https://astronauts.nasa.gov. There are also some great books for kids on the subject. It’s a great reason to make a trip to the library to let your child find their favorite books!
Get to Know An Astronaut!
Did you know you can also read Tweets from the astronauts on the international space station? And lots more! It’s so exciting to see what they are posting. Check them out @NASA_Astronauts.
Space Movies for Kids
Movies help us imagine and learn. There are some great educational and fun movies appropriate for kids about astronauts and space exploration. Some of our favorites include the IMAX Space Collection, Wall-E, Space Buddies, Space Camp and Fly Me to the Moon (Astronaut Buzz Aldrin even voices his own character!). What are some of yours?!
Gaze at the Stars
After your child creates their own night sky in the Art Studio at Paradise Park, you may want to further explore a night looking at the stars! We love the easy assistance an app provides at identifying constellations. Two free apps to try: SkyView and Star Chart.
Things You Can See in the Sky This Year:
July 2: Total Eclipse of the Sun – First since 2017, though mostly visible in the South Pacific Ocean.
August 12-13: Perseid Meteor Shower – One of the best annual meteor showers, producing up to 60 shooting stars and hour. This year should be great viewing because it occurs when the moon is dark.
November 11: Transit of Mercury – Experts say the end will be visible in North America, and to be careful, you’ll need help viewing it (and don’t view it with the naked eye); Last opportunity until 2049!
November 24: Venus & Jupiter Close Together – You’ll find them very low in the southwest sky during the chilly November dusk.
November 28: Celestial Summit at Dusk – Step outside about 45 minutes after sundown and look low near the southwest horizon. You’ll see Jupiter and to its upper left Venus. Just above Venus will be a hairline crescent moon, just 2.5 days past new. And finally, well to the upper left shines yet a third bright planet, Saturn.