The Stars at Night Shine Big and Bright
Long before GPS people used to navigate using maps and compasses. Maps showed the features of an area printed on paper, and compasses used the Earth’s magnetic field to point north. But what if an area had no fixed features, like the oceans? Sailors found their way by using the stars and a tool called a sextant. An accomplished sailor, FDR appreciated the stars for their usefulness in navigation and their beauty.
When was the last time you took a really good look at the stars?
- Can you locate the North Star?
- Can you find the Big and Little Dippers?
- What constellations can you see?
- Which constellations were the most useful to sailors at sea?
Share With Us:
Draw a picture of your favorite constellation and send it, along with a brief description as to why it is your favorite with the hashtag #fdrsummer (Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook) so we can celebrate your achievements with you.
During the period of slavery in the United States, enslaved people seeking freedom in the north risked their lives and depended upon the stars to guide them. Traveling under the cover of darkness, with no maps and limited assistance from helpers along the way, they were told to “follow the drinking gourd” – the Big Dipper – to lead them north.
Our sun is the star at the center of our solar system. It is the ultimate source of all energy and life on our planet. The next closest star is called Alpha Centauri, which is actually a binary pair of stars called Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B. They are about ___________ light years from Earth.