Outing #11: Stories from Dark Skies

Kaibab Paiute Indian Reservation, Arizona

EXPLORE

This week the Adventure Whales decided to take to the skies. We started by talking about how the one thing that all cultures have in common is the sky. We all see the same sun, moon, and stars (well, we all see stars, but our friends in the Southern Hemisphere get a different collection). But to see them from Earth, you need clear, dark skies.

So, we started Space Week at the first “Dark Sky Nation” in the world—the Kaibab Paiute Indian Reservation in Northern Arizona.

To join us, use the International Dark-Sky Association map to find official “dark sky” locations near you. Then, zoom in on the Kaibab Paiute Indian Reservation along the Arizona-Utah border.

Check out this article and short video to learn more about why the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians decided to work for this designation.

To see the sky from Paiute ancestral land, explore this awesome interactive tour from Bryce Canyon National Park just north of the reservation in Southern Utah.

Finish by learning what cultures around the world see in the stars with this immersive video from NPR.

DISCUSS

  • Have you ever heard stories about the sky? What are they?

  • What do you see when you look at the stars?

  • What important information about the sky and our history is shared when we share stories about the stars?

DO

Print out and put together this puzzle highlighting the most visible International Astronomical Union constellations that we can see in the Northern Hemisphere. Read the cultural stories that go with the constellations to learn the astute observations of the sky embedded in the stories.

Then, create your own constellation-inspired window art.

SHARE

Post photos of your constellation creations or nighttime pondering in the comments below, via Facebook, or by email!

Photo: Dark skies over Bryce Canyon, Utah

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