Archive | Astronomy

Total Solar Eclipse 2017 – 5 Best Online Resources

Total Solar Eclipse 2017 - 5 Best Online ResourcesA total solar eclipse doesn’t come around very often in North America. The last one was 40 years ago and the one happening this year has been getting a lot of attention.

The eclipse will cast a shadow across 12 states as it moves across the country. If you’re along the path of totality, you’ll see the sky plunge into darkness for up to 3 minutes during the day. If you live where where the total solar eclipse isn’t visible, you’ll still see a beautiful partial eclipse.

You’ll want to make sure you have protective eye wear for safely viewing the eclipse. There are some links in the sidebar to solar shades. It’s a good idea to buy some now before supplies run low and prices go up.

Here are the 5 Best Resources I’ve Found for the Total Solar Eclipse of 2017:

  • NASA Eclipse 2017 – NASA’s official site for the 2017 North American solar eclipse. Get the latest news and scientific data about the eclipse and find out out you can participate as a citizen astronomer.
  • Great American Eclipse – Here you’ll find a lot of great original content like videos, posters, and graphics as well as information about eclipse parties in ever state.
  • Eclipse 2017 – Provides a lot of great general information about the upcoming eclipse and detailed information about viewing in specific cities along the path of totality.
  • Kids Eclipse – Designed for grade K thru 6th grade, Kids Eclipse is produced by an an elementary school teacher to guide children through this spectacular and mystical celestial event.
  • Mr. Eclipse – Technical information from a retired NASA astrophysicist and eclipse expert. Includes thorough explanations of the event with links and resources.

Sound Off

Are you travelling to see the total solar eclipse or do you live in a state where it will be visible. Have you planned any activities around the event? Let me know in the comments below!


Turn Off the Lights to See What You’re Missing – The Wired Homeschool

I like astronomy. I encourage people to learn about the night sky and have at least a basic knowledge of what you’re seeing at night. You may have gone outside and looked up at the night sky and thought, “I don’t get it. It’s not impressive.” There’s a reason for that: light pollution. It doesn’t just prevent us from seeing the sky as God intended but also affects wildlife and our own ability to sleep. The next time you get an opportunity to look up in the night, think about this video and you’ll understand why I love astronomy and revel in God’s beautiful creation.


5 Android Apps for Star Gazers and Amateur Astronomers – The Wired Homeschool

Astronomy is a fun and challenging hobby. Learning about the night sky puts us in touch with the motions of the universe. Time, seasons, and more are all associated with the night sky and learning about our planet’s position in the solar system and universe will help you and your children to understand how the great explorers could navigate the world centuries ago.

Getting started with astronomy used to be difficult. You’d have to get your hands on star charts or at least a Farmer’s Almanac to familiarize yourself with the night sky. Now, there are tools available in the palm of your hand that can help you learn about our vast universe.

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International Observe the Moon Night 2012 – The Wired Homeschool

Saguaro Moon

Saguaro Moon
Credit & Copyright: Stefan Seip (Astro Meeting)

We’ve all seen it floating over the horizon glowing orange, lighting the night sky, or high in the blue sky early in the morning. Our closest celestial neighbor, the moon, can be seen just about every day of the year (unless you live in upstate New York where clouds come out of nowhere). It is our constant companion and contributes to the tidal forces here on earth. 43 years ago images of Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon inspired a generation of astronomers, scientists, and astronauts to explore the vast reaches of our universe.

Although many people see the moon every week they don’t take the time to really observe it. Some have never looked at it up close and gazed upon it’s barren beauty. This Saturday, September 22, 2012, you should take a closer look at our constant companion. There’s plenty to see with the unaided eye but a pair of binoculars will bring out features that you’ve never seen before. If you’ve never looked at the moon through a telescope, now is your chance. Find an event near you and have a look. Some astronomers have filters that can bring out certain features on the moon. You won’t be able to see the Eagle at Tranquility Base but you will have a new appreciation for our ever-present neighbor.

As homeschoolers, this is a great educational opportunity. Amateur astronomers are always eager to share their knowledge and you’ll get their full attention if you start asking questions. Have your kids bring along a sketch book and draw what they saw. Ask them if they can see the sun rising on the moon. Even if it’s cloudy this is still an opportunity to talk about the moon.

For more information about International Observe the Moon Night visit There are materials for hosting your own event as well as other information about how you can participate in or host an event. There are also some free PowerPoint and PDF presentations you can use to talk about the moon. Also, listen to a podcast about this event at 365 Days of Astronomy podcast. Don’t miss this great educational opportunity!


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