The study of planets, stars and even black holes are all a part of Astronomy. While much of space stays the same, it is also ever changing and with the best equipment, even new discoveries can be made. We name stars after loved ones, guide our ways home and wish on debris falling in hopes that its a star and not something man has put in the sky. Today was created by Doug Berger in 1973 while President of the Astronomical Association of Northern California.
Howe to celebrate – Study the sky. Get away from city lights to get to a better view. Become an Astronomer yourself.
With as many hazards as today could create, look up at the sky to see what you might normally miss! There is always something going on above our heads, some good, some bad but we miss them by constantly looking down. There are birds, planes, planets, stars, clouds, UFO’s, satellites, monkeys … well if you can name it, it’s probably up in the sky. Pay more attention to what’s there today, you might find it worth your time and very interesting.
How to celebrate – Look up at the sky. (Sunglasses might help) Get a partner to look with you so one can watch ground level while the other looks up. Figure out what the shapes of clouds above you look like.
You may wonder why today was chosen in the middle of winter. Well, remember that only half the world is in winter right now, the other half being in summer… so perhaps today was created for the southern hemisphere! Kites have been in use since the Chinese military developed them over 3,000 years ago. Back then, they were used to scare their enemies and probably worked pretty well, at least until kids got hold of them and made them a toy instead. And, of course, remember perhaps the most famous kite flyer of all, Benjamin Franklin and his shocking discovery.
How to celebrate – Go fly a kite. Make your own kite. If you don’t have any wind break out your giant fan!
When you star gaze you will often find falling stars, or meteors, entering our atmosphere and burning up. It is a natural, and rather common, sight to see though it does seem to happen more in the winter months than the summer months. Most burn up before they hit the earth but some do get through. The most famous occurred in Siberia in 1908 which cut a path through 40 miles of territory destroying trees, a few buildings and knocking some people out. That happened on June 30th and probably is the reason for today becoming Meteor Day.
How to celebrate – Star gaze tonight. Visit sites where meteors have landed. Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket.
When you can’t build out anymore the only other option is to build up. The world’s first skyscraper was the ten story Home Insurance Company building in Chicago, started in 1884 and finished in 1885. That’s a far cry from the Burj Khalifa building in Dubai built in 2010 which stands 2,717 feet high with 163 floors. It does seem to me that there is some point where enough is enough but then I don’t like heights either. Personally, I don’t need to be able to see 27 states from where I stand in 360-degree glory to know they are there. I am sure the sight is breath-taking though.
How to celebrate – Go visit Dubai. Go to the top floor of a skyscraper during a wind storm and feel the building sway. Try building your own skyscraper out of Legos.
April 14th – Look Up At The Sky Day
Most of us spend our days looking down at the ground. It does have its advantages, you might find money and you won’t trip over something in your way. However, the sky is filled with wonders. Day or night, there is always something to see. By day, airplanes, birds, clouds and the sun. By night, the moon, stars, planets (If you have really good eyesight) and all sorts of other mysteries. Since we have explored most of the earth (Other than the deep ocean) the sky offers up the dreams of the future. All that, and it may keep you from getting hit in the head by something falling from the sky.
How to celebrate – Look at the clouds and tell a friend what shapes you see. Imagine where the airplane overhead might be going. Find the constellations. (This works better at night)
April 14th National Look Up at The Sky Day
Ever hear of Chicken Little? Well, the sky isn’t falling. There are many beautiful things up there… clouds, rainbows, pie. (You’ll get it if you think about it.)
There are airplanes, the sun, the moon… you name it and you probably can find it up there. Clouds can be fun, look for different shapes that resemble something they remind you of.
How to celebrate – Keep looking up! Play “I spy” in the sky. Look for aliens.