Star Light, Star Bright

Star light star bright,
First star I see tonight,
Wish I may, wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight.

We all do lots of things in the daytime, but half our lives are lived in the dark. What is there to do on those long dark nights?

Star Gazing!

Go outside, look up, and gaze at the sky. After the sun goes down, we can see our moon, satellites, other planets, and even other galaxies!

Have you noticed how the moon changes its shape? Ancient people counted the cycles of the moon to keep track of the year. It told them when to plant crops, when to harvest, and when to get ready for winter.

Try watching the moon every night. Is it waxing (getting bigger) or waning (getting smaller)? When do you think it might be a full moon? When will it get so small that you are in the dark of the moon (no moon at all)?

Ancient people spent a lot of time looking at the stars. They saw that the stars made shapes, called constellations, and told stories about them. We still read these stories today! The most useful star in the sky is the North Star. It always points north, no matter where you are. It has guided people home for thousands of years.

If you want to learn more about the North Star and how to find it, NASA shows you how here. For help getting started as a night sky watcher, California State Parks has a great printable you can use.

Night Sky

List created by SDCountyKids

Half of our lives are lived under the night sky. Find out more about it with these stargazing and astronomy books for kids.

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