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.
Cozy Up with a Great Dog Story. Then Meet Canis Major.
Who doesn't love a great dog story? Canis Major, the "Great Dog," is back in the evening night sky, now that winter is back. That makes this the perfect time to read a wonderful and very ancient story from India about how and why the big pup got up there among the stars. You can find this story, "The Wise King and the Stray Dog," in Four Seasons of Star Stories, as well as The Night Sky in Winter. After you read, head outside and find the constellation. Who's a good dog? Canis Major, that's who.
Moon Over the Full Moon, Then Follow Its Phases
In winter, it gets dark early. This gives us lots of chances to enjoy some moonlight and watch the moon go through its monthly phases. In 2020, the winter full moons will take place on January 10th, February 9th, and March 9th.
Native Americans had names for each moon of the year, and some of these names are still in use. The January moon is officially the "Full Wolf Moon" (owoooo!). The February moon is the "Full Snow Moon." The March moon is the "Full Worm Moon."
Activity Suggestion! Why not spend a month watching the moon go through its phases: from full to waning gibbous, waning crescent, new moon, waxing crescent, waxing gibbous, and back to full again. Draw and label the moon phases on a calendar.
Look Whooo's Spending Winter Where You Live.
Do you see different animals in the yard, park, neighborhood in winter? Look for the winter residents where you live. Have some birds migrated away, while others have come to stay? Do you ever see animal tracks in snow or mud? Can you identify the animals that left them behind? What do the animals around you seem to be up to on these colder days? Sleeping? Eating? Digging? Singing?
Activity Suggestion! Keep an animal sighting journal this winter and look and learn from the wildlife around you.
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!