CAYA Sprouts New Moon Stargazing Guide - February 2017

CAYA Sprouts New Moon Stargazing Guide - February 2017
by Michelle Selvans

Blessed New Moon! In the coming week or two, we welcome you to go outside with your family at 8:00PM or later and scan the skies, and get to know the stars better.

Facing south, the constellation Orion and star Sirius, directly overhead now, will still dominate the surrounding stars with their brightness (see last month's post for details). And to the west, the brilliance of Venus continues to shine as an 'evening star.'

Facing north, and looking slightly to the right (northeast), you will likely recognize the Big Dipper, a collection of seven bright stars. The three that make up the handle of the ladle/dipper will be pointing down toward the northeastern horizon, and the four that make up the scoop will be pouring their contents down toward the northern point on the horizon. These stars are part of a larger constellation, the Great Bear. The Great Mama Bear is in good company, with her Baby Bear beside her. You can use the two 'pointer stars' at the end of the Big Dipper to find the Baby Bear, going the direction that soup would pour out of the ladle, about seven times the distance between the pointers to Polaris, the 'north star,' and tail end of the Baby Bear/Little Dipper.

The north star is the only star in our sky with a fixed location. Once you know which one it is, you can never lose your way, because you always know which way is north!

This star chart can help you find the Bears (the Ursas).

Make sure to line the direction printed on the edge of it up with the direction you're facing! After 8:00PM, the stars will have rotated a bit from where they're shown. Also, you might want to find your own chart if you are on our Mother Earth somewhere other than the contiguous 48 states of the United States, or a similar latitude.

Blessed be your stargazing!

If you enjoyed this and would like to connect deeper with the stars, our magical community and the children of the world, please join CAYA Sprouts in our monthly Children of Promise New Moon working!