UPDATE: This post was made as Shinn Shots Photography and does not represent the style or goals of Blue Space Photography. Because I believe in knowing where you’ve come from, I’ve left this here as a reminder of the journey that led me to where I am today. I now only shoot storytelling sessions, so be sure to check out my current work in more recent posts! – Lauren
The night sky has always fascinated me.
And no wonder. For centuries people have been enthralled with the heavens. The designs in the stars…the movement of the planets. I still find it absolutely incredible that we can actually send people to the moon.
In this age of technology, it’s so easy to forget the vastness of the universe. Looking up into the night sky has a way of providing some pretty real perspective on life.
This past Saturday, the people of planet Earth got to enjoy a “supermoon.” I’ll let Nasa do the explaining, but this large full moon comes around about every 18 years. I didn’t venture far to catch a glimpse of the moon, but I did enjoy taking some pictures from my driveway. The best images of the supermoon that I’ve seen were taken when the moon was close to the horizon. You can see some fabulous images at a blog I enjoy following called My Modern Metropolis.
Astronomy is a wonderful thing to explore as a family. Here are a few ideas on how to enjoy the night sky with your kids.
1) Instead of making a time consuming solar system model out of styrofoam and paint…make a solar system out of cookies! Work with your kids to make cookies of different shapes and sizes to represent the planets and the stars. After they bake, kids can decorate them with colors and sprinkles to give eve more detail. Mars is red…the Earth is blue and green. After they are baked and decorated, lay them out on on a tray or table as they are in the universe. Then…choose your favorite planet and gobble it up like a space monster. Don’t forget to take a picture before you do!
2) Go camping! Head out into your backyard…or better yet, somewhere with limited light pollution…and lay out under the night sky. You can talk about the different planets, the first man on the moon, or even just count the stars. Summer’s almost here and there’s not much that beats a warm summer night under the stars.
3) Put some glow in the dark stars on your child’s ceiling. For the older kids, you can break out an astronomy book…or Google…and try to create some constellations on the ceiling. Be creative and let the kids add their own made-up constellations too! Not into putting adhesive on your ceiling? Make some flash light stars by using some black paper or cardboard, something to punch holes with, and a flashlight. See what kind of star designs the kids can create. The best part? Help your kids make several different “star covers” and then send them to their dark room to play by themselves for awhile.
4) Put on a shadow play. When the sun is getting low, hang up a white sheet outside. (You can use tree branches or cars or anything else that will allow the sheet to hang.) Have the audience sit on one side of the sheet, and the actors stand on the other side. The actors will be between the setting sun and the sheet, causing shadows to appear on the sheet. The audience will only see the shadows that appear. Shadows can do all kinds of crazy things that people can’t do! For example, shadow people can have 4 arms and two heads! What does this have to do with astronomy? Ask your kids if you could do this in the middle of the day. No? And here’s your sly chance to talk about the rising and setting of the sun and how it orbits the earth.
5) Check out Nasa TV online. So cool! It’ll give you a chance to talk to your kids about gravity and what it’s like for people who travel to outer space.
Here’s hoping everyone finds a little time to enjoy the wonders of the universe!
(The image above was created from two separate images. The moon is the supermoon from Saturday night, but the clouds are from a moon picture I took back in November. I added some saturation and detail to the clouds with Photoshop. I love how the image resembles those surreal images we receive from space.)