Lie Back, Look Up: Why it’s important

Stargazing is a great way to “get outside” as a family.

 A back-to-nature movement to reconnect children with the outdoors is burgeoning nationwide.

—USA Today, November 2006

Many would agree that families are spending less and less time outside together.  Stargazing is a great way to get out and just enjoy the outdoors together– be part of this movement to reconnect children with nature.  Too many children don’t have enough experience outside at night, and stargazing can can help to conquer many of the fears that children have of the dark.

Gazing beyond the earth gives you perspective.

Part of the process of adolescence is for kids to begin to look beyond themselves.  We live in a world where children can explore their universe with a few clicks of a mouse, but the best way to gain perspective on their place in the universe is with their own eyes.  There is no substitute to gazing at the highlands and lowlands of the moon through a telescope, or looking at the Andromeda galaxy (2.5 million light-years away!) with the unaided eye.

Studying the sky is a great way to learn about other the history of other cultures.

From Galileo’s observations of the phases of Venus and the moons of Jupiter, to ancient farmers using the constellations to guide their crop planting, stargazing has had an important role for humankind throughout history. Learning about the mythology of the stars can be a great window into other cultures.  There are many books available on constellation mythology and endless websites dedicated to the topic. You can buy essays on the website any time.

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5 Responses to Lie Back, Look Up: Why it’s important

  1. marci says:

    great site Jen! way to go!

  2. Becky says:

    Interesting! How do you deal with the challenge of summer and the late hour the stars appear?

    • admin says:

      Great question! With my children being so young right now (7, 4.5 and 1), we plan a few special stargazing sessions around special events when I know we’ll be staying up late– like the 4th of July and camping trips. Other than that, we look at the moon a lot and the planets that appear right at sunset (Mars and Saturn right now in the western sky).

  3. Belladonna says:

    Great Job on this Jenna!! Awesome info and interesting.

  4. Pingback: The myth of Cassiopeia and Andromeda

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