Not Just for Kids

Vol. 8, No. 25
June 22-28, 2000
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It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane … Look Again!

Reach for the Stars

The night sky has fascinated people for thousands of years. Ancient people imagined they saw shapes of animals and people in the stars and made up myths about them. These patterns are called constellations. There are 88 named constellations, and you can find them yourself.

The first and most important thing for stargazing is a dark, dark sky. Find a nice high spot if you can, and set yourself up. The next most important thing you’ll need is your eyes, wide open. You can also bring binoculars, a blanket, a reclining chair and a star map. Bring a red-lensed flashlight to read without messing up your night vision. Now you’re ready to check out the sky. The Big Dipper is easy to find, as are Orion's Belt and the Seven Sisters. Use your imagination and make up some of your own.

Look, in the Sky … it's not a Bird … it's not a Plane …

What is it?

There are lots of things to look for besides constellations: planets, the moon and satellites. But if it’s a bright flash of light streaking across the sky, it's probably a shooting star. Actually, it isn’t a star at all but a piece of rock from outer space, crashing into Earth's atmosphere. It burns up quickly as it plunges toward Earth and looks to us like a falling star. Sometimes a meteor hits the earth's surface, but then it is called a meteorite. Several times a year, lots of rocks and debris enter the atmosphere at once, causing meteor showers. Some are really spectacular. Look for the Perseid meteor shower in August.

If it's not a shooting star then what could it be?

You may want to ask the National UFO Reporting Center. They get reports every day about unidentified flying objects. Have you ever seen a UFO? You would be surprised how many people have.

Find out the latest :

“May the Force Be With You”

Tell Me This …

What is a blue moon?

Very rarely, two full moons occur in one month. The second one is called a blue moon. Last year we had two blue moons — and this is very rare!

Can you see the Milky Way from Earth?

Yes. Billions of clusters of stars make an arc of light almost directly overhead, from mid to late summer. This is our galaxy.

Which star is closest to earth?

The sun, which is 93 million miles away.

Great Jupiter and Saturn!

Sky Calendar

June 16: The full moon in June is called a flower moon or strawberry moon.

June 21: The first full day of summer and the longest day of the year. The sun is as far north as it gets, and days begin to get slowly shorter as the sun starts heading south.

June 28: Look east in the early dawn to see a crescent moon with Jupiter and Saturn shining brightly to its left.

Kids' Calendar

Trains at the Beach
Thru August 10-(10am)-Who was working on the railroad 100 years ago? Find out through songs stories and games as you peek into the past at Chesapeake Beach. See what life was like and discover treasures. Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum, Chesapeake Beach. Call for schedule: 410/257-3892.

Celebrate Summer
Fri. June 23. (7:30-9:30pm)-Come celebrate the year’s longest day. Enjoy an evening hike then, sing songs and tell stories around the campfire. Bring a picnic and a chair if you like. All ages. Battle Creek Cypress Swamp, Lusby. rsvp: 410/535-5327.

Travel Quest
June 24-25. (2pm)-Think you're a travel brainiac? You might think again when you take on Travel Quest 2000, state trivia and Mad Libs. Take the challenge. Ages 7+. Zany Brainy, Harbour Center, Annapolis: 410/266-1447.

Fill the Bill
Sat. June 24. (10am)-Make a bird puppet and be a bird yourself while you have fun learning the different ways birds use their beaks to eat. Hear a story and see how many different kinds of birds live around us. Age 3-5. $3. Battle Creek Cypress Swamp, Lusby. rsvp: 410/535-5327.

Show Time
Thurs. June 29-(10am)-Learn pantomime and improvisation. Sharpen your tap dance routines and learn how to audition at CTA's summer workshop. Now you’re set for the big time. Ages 8-18. Children's Theater of Annapolis: 410/757-2281.

Discover Ospreys
Fri. July 7-(9am-2pm)-Study ospreys in their natural habitat on the Patuxent River. Observe behavior and biology, then board boats for hands-on experience banding young ospreys. Program is limited to 15 students in grades 9-12. Patuxent River Park, Laurel. rsvp:

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Bay Weekly