Jermaine was all about space exploration and stars. He really enjoyed reading books about stars and how Elon Musk was building rockets to bring people to Mars. Jermaine's father told him that August 8th is Global Sleep Under the Stars Night, so he asked if Jermaine wanted to spend a night outside and watch the stars.
He was excited about this idea and agreed to do it!
So, he and his father started to prepare for a night outside.
Jermaine was so excited because he knew that he would see a lot of stars and constellations.
They got to the place where they were going to spend their night.
It was a perfect spot. without any light sources. They set up their tent and started to have fun. At first, Jermaine was a little scared because he didn't know what will happen during the night. His father calmed him down by telling him that everything would be fine. They spent some time talking about space exploration and Elon Musk.
It was so interesting to hear all the stories, but after a while, Jermaine started to feel sleepy, and he wanted to go to sleep. His father told him that they would soon, but first, they would watch some stars and constellations.
Jermaine looked at the sky and saw a lot of stars. He saw a lot of constellations too! His father pointed out some for him, like Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Draco, and Ursa Major.
Afterwards, they went inside the tent.
Jermaine asked more questions about constellations while sharing some snacks and drinks with his dad.
The next morning, Jermaine woke up feeling refreshed because he was able to sleep outside! He was glad that he got to watch a lot of stars.
The next evening, Jermaine and his father decided to take a walk and go to a park. There were a lot of people there, so they decided to sit on a bench. They started to talk about the stars and constellations again.
Jermaine's father said that the reason that he likes to go to the wild at night is that he can see more stars in the sky than in the city. He explained that there are more light sources in the city, and the light pollution diminishes the contrast between the dark sky and celestial sources of light, which makes it harder to see the stars and the whole splendor of the universe. It would be interesting to see how much light pollution would be created by all the lights in New York City or Las Vegas - cities which have millions of people living in them - compared with small towns or villages where most people live without too many light sources.
Jermaine said, "Oh, I know what you mean!
When I was younger, I was afraid of looking at the sky at night because I thought there were monsters underneath it".
His father smiled and said, "That's why it is important for kids to understand that there is nothing to be afraid of when it comes to space exploration".
"When I grow up", said Jermaine, "I want to be an astronaut".
His father asked him if he wants to go into space or stay on Earth. Jermaine answered that he would like both: going into space and exploring planets like Mars but also staying on Earth and exploring our planet too!
The next day, Jermaine woke up and his father was already awake.
"I had a great time! Thank you for the time last night", said Jermaine.
"Thank you for joining me too", said his father. "I'm glad you had fun ".
The evening after, Jermaine's father and he decided to go outside again. They went to the park, but it was too crowded, so they decided to go somewhere else. They walked for a while until they got to a darker place. There were no other people around, so Jermaine's father asked him if he wanted to sit on the grass and look at the sky for a while.
He saw many stars that he saw last night, but he also saw new ones! His father told him that there are some constellations in those stars: Aquila, Cygnus, and Lyra. Jermaine already knew what they look like! So, he pointed them out in the sky and explained what they looked like.
Jermaine's father took out a book about constellations. He showed him the pictures of the constellations and explained that they can be located by three different coordinate systems: the ecliptic coordinate system, the equatorial coordinate system, and the galactic coordinate system.
Jermaine was surprised by all this information! "
What are they?"
"The ecliptic coordinate system is used to describe an object's location relative to the plane of Earth's orbit around the Sun."
"The equatorial coordinate system is used to describe an object's location relative to Earth's equator (which is a circle that happens to have Earth's the North Pole in its center)."
"The galactic coordinate system is used to describe an object's relative location to the plane of our galaxy - which consists of a huge number of stars, including our Sun!"
His father smiled and stopped right here, "Shall we resume this topic in our evening walk tomorrow?"
These evening walks had already become the highlight of his days.