Tag Archives: imaginative

What are Constellations? From Star Maps to the Zodiac!

 

ConstellationsNow, you’re probably heard the word constellation mentioned when people talk about the night sky.   But what does that word mean?  Well, constellation comes from the Latin word, ‘constellatio.’  Translated, it means set of stars!  Now if you go back in time, before iPods, iPads video games, face time and Netflix.  Okay, now go back even further, to a time of no TV, no phones…no electricity even!  What did people even do for entertainment back then? Well one popular activity was star gazing.  And without modern light pollution, you could see… a lot. Early civilizations looked at stars and told stories.  Then they began to observe that the same set of stars could be seen at different times of the year, every year.  Some of these constellations became the signs of the zodiac, our star signs.  Different civilizations have different star stories, but here in the west we are more familiar with the Greco-Roman Stories.

If you want to look for the constellations in the night sky, you’ll need a few things.  A star map for one thing.  If you don’t have one, you can find them on the internet.  Then you need to look at the correct month of the year on the star map.  After that, you’ll need a very dark night sky, (away from light pollution) and good eyesight, or good glasses!

Next try and match the constellations for the month on your star map, with what you see in the sky.  You’re going to have to use your imagination and try to picture lines between the sets of stars, just like on the map.  It’s helpful to have someone with you who already knows a bit about constellations, to help you pick them out.

Behind every constellation, there’s a story.  Below I’ve outlined the myths behind a couple of the constellations.

Perseus

He was a great hero of Greek mythology.  His father was Zeus (Jupiter in Roman mythology) and his mother was Danae.  His most famous feat was the killing of the Gorgon Medusa.  The Gorgon’s face was hideous, her nest a mass of writhing snakes.  And one look from her would turn you to stone.  So capturing her was not easy.  But with a helmet of invisibility, a shield and winged sandals; all gifts from the Gods, Perseus managed to cut off her head.  He then rescued the Princess Andromeda, who was chained to a rock, as an offering to a terrifying sea monster.  After killing the sea monster, he married the princess. When he died, he was honored with his own constellation.

Hercules

The biggest hero of them all was of course Hercules.  His father was lord of the Gods, Zeus himself (Jupiter in Roman mythology) and Alemena was his mother.  Driven mad by Zeus’s jealous wife Hera, Hercules killed many people.  He later made amends for these sins by completing the twelve labors of Hercules.  These included killing the Nemean lion, stealing Cerberus the three headed dog and slaying the Hydra, a many headed monster.  For all his mighty feats, he was rewarded with his own constellation.  This shows him wearing the skin of the Nemean Lion, whilst carrying his club and the stolen three headed dog of the underworld.

Lyra

A small constellation in the northern hemisphere.  It shows the lyre or lyra (a type of small harp).    Arion was Poseidon’s son and a singer and musician: Poseidon was the Greek God of the Oceans.  Neptune is the Roman equivalent.  Such was Arion’s talent, he decided to go to Sicily to compete in a musical competition.  He played the lyre and won many treasures.  On the way home, treacherous sailors plotted to steal all his valuable awards and throw him overboard.  Arion pleaded with them to let him sing and play one more time.  They granted his wish and then pushed him overboard.  Not knowing how to swim, he would have drowned.  But his singing had attracted the attention of one of Poseidon’s dolphins.  The dolphin carried him safely back to his home in Corinth.  In honor of his talent Apollo – the Greek God of the Sun and Music- put the above lyre constellation in the night sky.

Next Post:  Astronomy versus Astrology: How did the Zodiac Constellations become our Star Signs?

Evonne Blanchard is the author of, ‘Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace,’ and ‘Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage.’ These are the first two books in, ‘Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures,’ an exciting series of ten books set in outer space, (for children ages 5-9).

Ever wondered if aliens exist?  What if one needed your help?  Would you travel into outer space?  For the adventures…of a lifetime!

New Book Two: Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage

Uglesnoo needs Amelia’s help.  His sister is very sick.  The only cure is a repelling crystal from Neptune.  With his Earthling friend, Amelia, they must continue their quest.  More items are needed to buy the crystal.  But Venus is full of danger and angry aliens.  Are Uglesnoo and Amelia in over their heads?

Amelia the Venutons cover with text

“A lively sequel offers a sure-handed blend of fantasy, humor, adventure, and an ingenious heroine.” Kirkus Reviews

5/5 star rating!  “Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage is a wonderful children’s book that will allow your kids to get started in the Sci-Fi genre… The story is intriguing and well thought out. All in all, the author did a great job of creating an engaging story that kept my kids interested. We are definitely looking forward to the next book!”- Examiner.com

Click below for a preview:

Amazon.com

or

Amazon.co.uk

Read this book and over 1 million other books with Kindle Unlimited.

Book One: Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace

When is a present not a present?  When it’s a friendly purple alien called Uglesnoo, from the planet Pluto!  Uglesnoo needs to leave right away for the Moon.  Uglesnoo also desperately needs Amelia’s help.  Should Amelia venture into outer Space?

kindle cover for upload

Click below for a preview:

Amazon.com

Or

Amazon.co.uk

Read this book and over 1 million other books with Kindle Unlimited.

 “Appealing Illustrations combine with lots of text to make this a great read for children transitioning from picture books to chapter books.” – Kirkus Reviews

The story is imaginative and fun…and a perfect book to stretch my oldest in his independent reading with something fun to keep his attention.” —Beautiful Books for Children

 

 

 

A Pdf. Preview is now Available of, ‘Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace,’ by Evonne Blanchard

When is a present not a present?  When it’s a friendly purple alien called Uglesnoo, from the planet Pluto!  Uglesnoo needs to leave right away for the Moon.  Uglesnoo also desperately needs Amelia’s help.  Should Amelia venture into outer Space?

Click here: ‘Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace,’ Chapters 1-3

Amelia The Moochins cover 1-16

If you want to buy the book, click on one of the links below:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500496588

or

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1500496588

For a limited period read the book for FREE on KINDLE. Click here for more information

 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L2G13LQ

Evonne Blanchard is the author of, ‘Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace,’ and ‘Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage.’ These are the first two books in, ‘Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures,’ an exciting series of ten books set in outer space, (for children ages 5-9).

Ever wondered if aliens exist?  What if one needed your help?  Would you travel into outer space?  For the adventures…of a lifetime!

New – Book Two: Amelia. the Venutons and the Golden Cage

Amelia the Venutons cover with text

Uglesnoo needs Amelia’s help.  His sister is very sick.  The only cure is a repelling crystal from Neptune.  With his Earthling friend, Amelia, they must continue their quest.  More items are needed to buy the crystal.  But Venus is full of danger and angry aliens.  Are Uglesnoo and Amelia in over their heads?

Click below for a preview:

Amazon.com

or

Amazon.co.uk

Book One: Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace

Amelia the Moochins 8-15

When is a present not a present?  When it’s a friendly purple alien called Uglesnoo, from the planet Pluto!  Uglesnoo needs to leave right away for the Moon.  Uglesnoo also desperately needs Amelia’s help.  Should Amelia venture into outer Space?

Click below for a preview:

Amazon.com

or

Amazon.co.uk

For a limited period read the book for FREE on KINDLE. Click here for more information

 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L2G13LQ

“Appealing Illustrations combine with lots of text to make this a great read for children transitioning from picture books to chapter books.” – Kirkus Reviews

“The story is imaginative and fun…and a perfect book to stretch my oldest in his independent reading with something fun to keep his attention.” —Beautiful Books for Children

You can read the first few chapters, FOR FREE, of, ‘Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace.’  Simply click on the link below:

https://ameliasamazingspaceadventures.com/the-stories/

 

 

Fun Space Facts for Children: Neptune, the Bluest Planet

Neptune Image

The Planet Neptune

Name:   Neptune is named after the Roman God of the oceans, lakes and rivers. Poseidon is the Greek equivalent.   Neptune the God is often shown carrying a trident and riding sea horses.  In 1612 , the famous astronomer and scientist Galileo spotted the planet Neptune, whilst looking at the night sky, but mistook it for a star.  So Neptune had to wait until 1846, when it was officially discovered by both Urbain Le Verrier, (French) and Johann Galle, (German).

Diameter: 30,777 miles;  45930.78 kilometers

Temperature:  -353°F; -212.22°C

Fun Neptune Facts:  In keeping with tradition they decided to name the planet after a Roman God.  The planet being blue, how do you think they chose its name?  Of course,   it had to be Neptune, the Roman God of the seas!

Do you know where’s the coldest place in the entire Solar System?  If you’re guessing Neptune right now, you’re getting warmer (or should I say colder?).  Actually the chilliest place in our Solar System is on Triton; one of Neptune’s eight moons.  On Triton, the temperature is a bone shivering, bitter cold of -393°F (-263.1°C) !  And you thought the North Pole was freezing!

Neptune’s composition is similar to Uranus.  It’s mainly made up of hydrogen and helium.  Scientists think it also has an icy core of water, methane and ammonia.  It’s rich blue color comes from methane in Neptune’s atmosphere.

You need to use a telescope to see Neptune.  And even then it can be hard to spot.  The best time to look for Neptune is in the month of August.  In the summer of 1989, NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft took the first close ups of the planet.  You can see one of the images above.

Pluto is usually the furthest planet away in the Solar System.  But Pluto has a strange orbit, so occasionally it’s closer to the sun than Neptune.  Then Neptune becomes the furthest planet away and for up to twenty years at a time!

Next post: Fun facts about the dwarf planet Pluto.

Evonne Blanchard is the author of, ‘Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace,’ and ‘Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage.’ These are the first two books in, ‘Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures,’ an exciting series of ten books set in outer space, (for children ages 5-9).

Ever wondered if aliens exist?  What if one needed your help?  Would you travel into outer space?  For the adventures…of a lifetime!

New – Book Two: Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage

Amelia the Venutons cover with text

Uglesnoo needs Amelia’s help.  His sister is very sick.  The only cure is a repelling crystal from Neptune.  With his Earthling friend, Amelia, they must continue their quest.  More items are needed to buy the crystal.  But Venus is full of danger and angry aliens.  Are Uglesnoo and Amelia in over their heads?

Click below for a preview:

Amazon.com

or

Amazon.co.uk

Read this book and over 1 million other books with Kindle Unlimited.

“A lively sequel offers a sure-handed blend of fantasy, humor, adventure, and an ingenious heroine.” Kirkus Reviews

5/5 star rating!  “Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage is a wonderful children’s book that will allow your kids to get started in the Sci-Fi genre… The story is intriguing and well thought out. All in all, the author did a great job of creating an engaging story that kept my kids interested. We are definitely looking forward to the next book!”- Examiner.com

Book One: Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace

When is a present not a present?  When it’s a friendly purple alien called Uglesnoo, from the planet Pluto!  Uglesnoo needs to leave right away for the Moon.  Uglesnoo also desperately needs Amelia’s help.  Should Amelia venture into outer Space?

kindle cover for upload

Click below for a preview:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500496588

Or

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1500496588

Read this book and over 1 million other books with Kindle Unlimited.

 “Appealing Illustrations combine with lots of text to make this a great read for children transitioning from picture books to chapter books.” – Kirkus Reviews

The story is imaginative and fun…and a perfect book to stretch my oldest in his independent reading with something fun to keep his attention.”Beautiful Books for Children

 

Best Books for Children, Ages 5-8. The Amelia Jane Series: Oldies, but Goodies!

Amelia Jane Series

Best Books for Children, Ages 5-8  Oldies.  The Amelia Jane Series: Oldies, but Goodies!

Ready for some nostalgic childhood memories?  The Amelia Jane series by Enid Blyton is a good place to start.  These simply written books have delighted children for generations.  My daughters adored all the books in the series, as did I as a child.  Children love the mischievous ways of Amelia, a very naughty doll in a nursery full of other toys, all far better behaved.  These books transitioned my youngest daughter – with many mischievous tendencies of her own- into reading chapter books by herself; with a lot of giggling at Amelia’s antics along the way!

Evonne Blanchard is the author of, ‘Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace,’ and ‘Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage.’ These are the first two books in, ‘Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures,’ an exciting series of ten books set in outer space, (for children ages 5-9).

Ever wondered if aliens exist?  What if one needed your help?  Would you travel into outer space?  For the adventures…of a lifetime!

New – Book Two: Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage

Amelia the Venutons cover with text

Uglesnoo needs Amelia’s help.  His sister is very sick.  The only cure is a repelling crystal from Neptune.  With his Earthling friend, Amelia, they must continue their quest.  More items are needed to buy the crystal.  But Venus is full of danger and angry aliens.  Are Uglesnoo and Amelia in over their heads?

Click below for a preview:

Amazon.com

or

Amazon.co.uk

Book One: Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace

Amelia the Moochins 8-15

When is a present not a present?  When it’s a friendly purple alien called Uglesnoo, from the planet Pluto!  Uglesnoo needs to leave right away for the Moon.  Uglesnoo also desperately needs Amelia’s help.  Should Amelia venture into outer Space?

Click below for a preview:

Amazon.com

or

Amazon.co.uk

For a limited period read the book for FREE on KINDLE. Click here for more information

 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L2G13LQ

“Appealing Illustrations combine with lots of text to make this a great read for children transitioning from picture books to chapter books.” – Kirkus Reviews

“The story is imaginative and fun…and a perfect book to stretch my oldest in his independent reading with something fun to keep his attention.” —Beautiful Books for Children

You can read the first few chapters, FOR FREE, of, ‘Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace.’  Simply click on the link below:

https://ameliasamazingspaceadventures.com/the-stories/