09 February 2009

NASA website lets you plan a space station viewing

From Steven:

My son and I just watched the International Space Station overhead. I don't think he quite understood what he was looking at, as he is only two-and-a-half, but he seemed intrigued by the idea that there were people on that little shiny speck. I thought I would share the experience with all my fellow Parenthackers. If you want to view it yourself, just head over to: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings/index.html and plug in your address. It will tell you when the next good time to see it will be.

I love this idea. You never know which moment or experience will spark a child's wonder about the universe. I know I never looked at the sky the same way again after reading The Little Prince. Another short, lovely picture book that gets kids thinking about the vastness of time and space: The Jupiter Stone.

Related: The two Dr. Seuss books that changed my life

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Go to http://www.heavens-above.com for personalized information about when the space shuttle and international space station are passing over your city. When the shuttle and the ISS are attached together, they look like a star moving across the sky. We've done this for years. I always get such a thrill knowing that the astronauts are overhead.

If your kids are into space and astronomy, don't forget that 2009 is the International Year of Astronomy. It's intended to raise interest in astronomy and bring people "closer" to the skies. There will be lots of astronomy-related events all year long. More specifically, you can see what's happening in *your area* during the 100 Hours of Astronomy 2-5 April! Check out http://www.100hoursofastronomy.org/. Happy stargazing!

Thanks, Krees----I've bookmarked the site.

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