New Horizons will be Broadcasting It’s Fly-By of Ultima Thule on January 1, 2019

2018-12-31T23:33:53-07:00

  Many people are aware that New Horizons will be taking pictures, and collecting data as it passes close by the Kuiper Belt object commonly known as Ultima Thule (2014 MU6) on January 1, 2019.  It will be passing closer to Ultima Thule than it has come to any other object since it launched from Earth on January 19, 2006.  It will come within 2,200 miles of the surface of this mysterious and enigmatic Kuiper Belt object. John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory will be live streaming information and interviews about New Horizons for 24 hours straight!  Here's the youtube link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zzqOvJiSzE). The [...]

New Horizons will be Broadcasting It’s Fly-By of Ultima Thule on January 1, 20192018-12-31T23:33:53-07:00

Lessons Learned from Camp Cosmos

2018-11-19T21:28:33-07:00

            How do you decide if an event is a success? Usually the number of people in attendance is a good indicator, and one that the state wants us to report. But what if you only have three people from your intended audience attend? Can you still call that a successful event? To celebrate the end of World Space Week in October, we held Camp Cosmos at one of the local parks. We had paper rockets launched by compressed air, made space packs, offered "moon sand" to play in, made galaxy art, and more. It was a [...]

Lessons Learned from Camp Cosmos2018-11-19T21:28:33-07:00

Seeing Stars!

2018-07-30T20:14:58-06:00

Indoor astronomy is a great way to light up the night! We recently did that, both figuratively and literally. I have done a fairly large number of astronomy programs in the past 5 or 6 years, both with and without the library's 8" Dobsonian telescope; both indoors and out. I want these programs to be both about learning and fun... I want to encourage kids and their adults to spend time looking at the sky when they are outside, even if they aren't sure what they are looking at or for. Since the moon is an easy place to start, I [...]

Seeing Stars!2018-07-30T20:14:58-06:00

Super Moon, Blue Moon, Red Moon = What a Night to Watch the Moon!

2018-01-05T16:53:48-07:00

This will be the month to keep an eye on the moon.  The largest full moon of 2018 occurred on January 1, and the second, and last super moon of this year will occur on January 31.  Since it will also be the second full moon in a calendar month, it will be a blue moon, as well.  As if that weren't enough to get folks out to take a look, there will be a total lunar eclipse the very same night! Definitely the morning (very early morning for some) to bundle up, get a mug of hot chocolate, and find a good [...]

Super Moon, Blue Moon, Red Moon = What a Night to Watch the Moon!2018-01-05T16:53:48-07:00

Stargazer Nights at Skokie Public Library

2017-06-30T07:49:05-06:00

Here at Skokie Public Library, one of our favorite seasonal recurring events is our Stargazer Night program. While we first started these all-ages programs in the spring of 2015 in conjunction with an exploration of microcosms and macrocosms in our BOOMbox, we’ve continued offering 5 or 6 of these programs each year. Here’s what we do. Families take a closer look at Jupiter and its moons during Stargazer Nights. First, we choose our dates for Stargazer Night programs. We check a local sunrise/sunset schedule so we know what months might be viable for a program. We’ve tended to find [...]

Stargazer Nights at Skokie Public Library2017-06-30T07:49:05-06:00

Hands-on STEM: Scale Model of Sun and Earth

2017-05-23T14:30:50-06:00

While we all know that the Sun is very big and very far away, its actual size and distance from Earth can be hard concepts to grasp. Many Solar System models that we see inaccurately display the relative size of the Sun compared to the planets, and almost all models inaccurately display the true distance between Solar System objects. This isn't due to a lack of astronomical knowledge, but rather the amount of space that an accurate model would require! For example: an accurate model with a marble-sized (one inch in diameter) Earth would call for a nine-foot wide Sun and [...]

Hands-on STEM: Scale Model of Sun and Earth2017-05-23T14:30:50-06:00

Meteors, Moon Phases, and Sky Maps; Oh My!

2017-05-08T08:00:27-06:00

April was a good time for Astronomy programs, with the Lyrid Meteor Shower on Earth Day this year. We held two different programs in anticipation of the shower; one in the library, and one in a local county park. The program Meet a Meteor began with some meteor basics, including this "What's Up in April" video from NASA. https://youtu.be/r7RHlKVd87M A second video, specifically about the 2015 Lyrid meteor shower, was shared as well. Even though it is an older video, it references Earth Day and includes a good description of what a meteor shower is. The Earth Day Meteor Shower video can [...]

Meteors, Moon Phases, and Sky Maps; Oh My!2017-05-08T08:00:27-06:00

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse!

2017-02-20T04:45:43-07:00

What exactly is a penumbral  lunar eclipse? We recently had the good fortune to be able to explore this in a library program. In a rare event, several circumstances aligned to allow us the opportunity to talk about eclipses, view one as it happened, and help build excitement for the upcoming solar eclipse. Even though Friday evening programs are not typically well-attended, this was a program that really piqued the public's interest! 75 people of a wide range of ages attended the event to learn about the eclipse, practice some "hands-on eclipse-making," and view the eclipse through the library's telescope. We [...]

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse!2017-02-20T04:45:43-07:00

Edible Rocks??? Definitely!

2016-08-27T12:59:01-06:00

         The Lunar and Planetary Institute has done it again!  They have developed another delicious educational experience to share with libraries and educators - Edible Rocks. Who would want to try to eat a rock?  Just about everyone, when the "rocks" are chocolate bars, "Three Musketeers" (the candy, not the book or movie), "Nestle Crunch," and chocolate covered granola bars. In this activity, children learn and use terms that geologists use when studying and describing meteorites, except they will be using the terms to describe candy bars.  They also get the opportunity to draw their observations and write descriptions of [...]

Edible Rocks??? Definitely!2016-08-27T12:59:01-06:00

Perseid Meteor Shower – August 11 & 12

2016-08-09T13:40:14-06:00

By Andrew Fraknoi | Exploring the Universe Image Credit: European Southern Observatory (ESO) This Thursday and Friday, there will be one of the best annual meteor showers you and your family can watch -– the Perseids.    And some experts are even predicting that there might be a meteor “outburst” this year –- where the number of shooting stars increases beyond the usual rates. This is a complicated year for watching the Perseid meteor shower, because the evening sky has a roughly half-lit-up moon in it, making it more difficult to catch the faint “shooting stars.”  So if you can wait until the Moon [...]

Perseid Meteor Shower – August 11 & 122016-08-09T13:40:14-06:00
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