Here's What's Happening...
Keep coming back to this page to get more fun facts about the night sky, seasonal outdoor activity suggestions, updates about our books, and more! And for more up-to-the-minute updates, like Giant Sky Books on Facebook. Just follow the link at the bottom of the page.
The Hunter Becomes the Prey
Orion the mighty hunter rules the winter night sky. In early spring, he still dominates the scene after nightfall. He's accompanied by his two hunting dogs, Canis Major and Canis Minor. But keep your eye on him as the weeks of spring go by! You'll see that the hunter is now being hunted--by the giant star lion, Leo. Orion flees from Leo all spring until, eventually, he disappears with his dogs over the southwest horizon.
Do you want to learn to identify the constellations Leo and Orion? Would you like to read memorable myths about the star lion and hunter? Order a copy of Four Seasons of Star Stories: Multicultural Myths of the Constellations and start exploring the night sky through stories.
Welcome Back Animal Neighbors
Spring brings a change in the birds and other animals you may see in your yard and neighborhood. You may notice that the "mewing" of catbirds can be heard once more, house wrens are nesting in your hedge, or hummingbirds are suddenly zooming around flowerpots. These migratory birds spend their winters in warm places, but head back north again in spring. Which birds have suddenly returned to your yard or block?
You might spot some other animal neighbors out and about again, too. Woodchucks wake up from the deep sleep of hibernation in spring. So do box turtles. Rabbits don't hibernate, but you'll see them much more often once spring arrives. Watch for them especially in the mornings and evenings, their favorite times to be hopping about, looking for a spring-green snack.
Man in the Moon?
Or Frog in the Moon?
A full moon on a clear night can be a delight! This spring, we can enjoy full moons on April 8, May 7, and June 5.
What do you see when you gaze at a full moon? Can you make out the face of the "Man in the Moon"? The Man in the Moon is a European tradition. But other cultures have other traditions about the full moon. Japanese people see a rabbit in the full moon and tell a myth about how it came to be there. A number of different cultures, including African and Native American cultures, see a frog in the full moon. In one African story, the frog is a messenger carrying a marriage proposal from an Earthly king who wishes to marry the Moon King's daughter.
Tech to Help You Tour the Skies
Cell phones and similar devices can be a big help when you are out stargazing. Compass apps can help you orient yourself. Phone flashlights can help you avoid tripping over the tricycle the little girl next door left on the sidewalk. Some apps will even identify constellations for you if you point your phone or other device up at the sky.
Giant Sky Books will be reviewing some of these sky viewing apps in the days (or rather, nights) to come. We'll try them out and let you know which ones we like the best. So check back here to find out our user-test results!