Orion shines bright in the January sky. It is so bright, that it is one of the few constellations, I can see in the Dallas suburb. What I’ve noticed, that this constellation is directly above our house on New Years night at 12 a.m. Since Orion is on the celestial equator, it’s belt can be seen on Earth from pole to pole at this time of the year. The belt, Betelgeuse and Rigel (the brightest star in Orion) can be seen very easily in the southern sky.
Damn, it is hot! The last few days, we had temperatures of 106ºF (41ºC) here in the northern part of the DFW Metroplex. The next few days suppose to reach 108/109ºF (42/43ºC), before we get a break and hopefully some rain. Every night, when I water my home garden I also refill the bird baths. One of them, I put lower to the ground. The bunnies and other critters need water in this heat, too. My pets are “lazy” all day, and they won’t move a muscle until 7 PM. When I tell Lexi and Luis to go for a short potty break outside, they look at me as I had stolen their milk bones. Lexi goes in our bedroom, while Luis cools off on our leather couch.
*Original meaning behind “The Dog Days of Summer”:
When Sirius (the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major/Greater Dog, therefore called “The Dog Star”, rises with the Sun on those hot Summer mornings, we call the days from early July until the End of September “The Dog Days of Summer”.
As the title gives it away, the theme of Sara’s Elementary School Curriculum was “Night At The Museum” last night. Katelynn was actually more excited about last night’s event, than Sara. Sara saw it coming together over a couple of weeks. Katelynn knew it was about dinosaurs.
When we got up to the school, we still had to wait to let in. We showed up early to get a good parking spot. Once they let us in, Katelynn wanted to go straight to the exhibit in the cafeteria. As soon as she entered the room, her eyes went wide open. There were so many fossils and bones of Mesozoic Era. Dinosaur George was leading the exhibit. And there was a lot to look at for all of us. Katelynn and Sara could look and touch at a skull from a turtle that roamed the seas, when Texas was still covered by an ocean.
But there was more to see and to try out. After we all had a hotdog, we went to check out Egyptian history in the library. The girls tried to write their names in hieroglyphs. They also learned, that the ancient Egyptians were great Mathematicians, Scientists, and Astronomers. Speaking of astronomy: On the other side of the hallway was a little Planetarium. The students got a template with a constellation and a tooth pick. When they entered the tent, which was a black tarp, they could poke holes in the form of a star constellation. There was light above the tent, and it really looked like they are stargazing. I loved that idea, since it is in my alley. 😉
Since the school is in its second year of the Texas Motor Speedway/NASCAR reading competition, some parents, students and teachers made box cars last week. A lot of them had really cool designs and were funny as well.
The 6th Curriculum Night of Sara’s Elementary school turned out very good. They also seem to improve and have a higher turnout, every year. We really enjoyed it. Katelynn was very excited. And Sara has lots of study material for future school projects.
I did some star gazing in the clear Winter sky, tonight. Here are photos of a few constellations: The vain Queen CASSIOPEIA, the King of Aethiopia CEPHEUS, and the hunter ORION.
The night is cool and clear. And it will take until the early morning hours, before the waning crescent Moon will rise. Our Star Spangled Banner is waving in the breeze. It is a perfect opportunity to photograph the star constellation Orion in the January night sky.
For a better view feel free to visit my Flickr account: https://www.flickr.com/photos/132943299@N07/38967074804/in/album-72157686994312444 https://www.flickr.com/photos/132943299@N07/38967075774/in/album-72157686994312444
Sturgeon Moon, Green Corn Moon, Grain Moon, Red Moon
The grain ripens in the fields and the sturgeons become plentiful in the lakes. The Moon takes on a red hue from the Summer haze. It is the beginning of the harvest season and the time to begin preparing for Winter.
The August Full Moon is a time of balance between hope and fear. We have harvested some things but the remaining crops are still in limbo. We take the steps we can to ensure success in our lives while trusting that the universe will meet us halfway.