Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Night Sky Comes Alive

At 8:00 p.m., the lights in the house went out, as we joined countless millions in celebrating Earth Hour. Thanks to a few candles, the kids continued to play on, in what will likely be a memorable experience.

A few teens in the room cracked: "Can't we please have light? What do you say we power off for 8 full hours beginning around 11 p.m.?" and "I say we turn off all the lights for 12 hours... beginning at 8 a.m.!"

While many may miss the connection to global warming, the dimming of the lights at my home resulted in a few interesting questions and reflection, but shortly turned into a 'sleepover' atmosphere for my family and our overnight guests.

My youngest wanted to know if we might really be able to see more stars, and although he didn't wait for the answer (dinosaurs were waiting...), some may be interested to know that Google has embedded the night sky in the latest version of Google Earth.

Constellations that change based on time and location; planets rotate around the sun; and multiple images from the Hubble telescope provide rich views of "Where no man has gone before..."