Worth a Whiny Wednesday?

Essential Star-Gazing Gear. Also, recommend the NightSky app for your iphone.

I’ve gotten into the habit of stepping out to look at the stars whenever I wake up at night. To really get away from the lights though, requires a short walk to the ocean bluffs where the night sky opens up over the Pacific and distant boat lights blend into the blackness with all those millions of stars. Sometimes, it’s a great opportunity to have some quiet time alone with the Creator of it all but lately I’ve been bringing along one of the boys. This morning was an exception. They’d all been arguing the night before over whose turn it was to go stargazing with Mom, so when one of them wandered into our room at 4:00 this morning I thought it only fair to see if any of the others wanted to join us outside. So, there I was at 4:15 with 3 little guys instead of 1, heading out to look at the stars. We were able to knock a couple more constellations off our list and we saw 4 shooting stars from the Orionids meteor shower which will be peaking Monday, October 22. Here is a great website that lists the various showers and the best times to watch: meteor-activity-outlook-for-october-13-19-2012
We’ve also been participating this week in the Great World Wide Star Count which ends October 19. This means if you have a clear night tonight or tomorrow, you can get in on the count, too! Here is a link to that site as well:starcount
Yes, there’s tons of neat stuff out there to be learned in the dark hours of the night. And it makes for some precious time shared with the little people in your life. But be warned, late-night star-gazing can make for a VERY WHINY WEDNESDAY when nobody has had enough sleep! So is it worth it? Better ask me after naptime.

From the setting of the sun to its rising…

…”the name of the Lord is to be praised!” Psalm 113:3

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Okay, I know I got my settings and risings mixed up but that’s because we found extra opportunity this week to praise the name of the Lord during the night. So instead of giving you a sunset (or sunrise) of the week picture, you’re getting a slide show (compliments of NASA) of some images from within Cygnus, the Swan constellation. We’re spending a lot of time looking at Cygnus the next couple weeks because we are participating in the Great World Wide Star Count. This means making a report on the number of stars we can see within the Cygnus constellation on any given night between October 5 and 19. You can participate in the star count too, by clicking on the following link:starcount

Also, congratulations to Titus and Joel who can now identify 8 of these constellations by sight in the night sky! A quarter of the way toward our goal!