My daughter stayed up late tonight to watch for the Leonid meteor shower.

She’s had an interest in space for a few years now and just received a telescope for her birthday. It’s pretty awesome watching her enthusiasm bloom into a passion for all things astronomical. We discuss different types of stars, how gravity affects planets and moons, the Kuiper Belt, dwarf planets, the speed of light, black holes…

Quick, to the internets!

it’s been an education for us both. When I don’t know the answer to one of her questions, we turn to the internets and figure it out.

We’ve had a lot of fun looking at various astronomy sites, but our absolute favourite is CosmoQuest. If you have time to DO SCIENCE!, check out their features:

Vesta Mappers

Moon Mappers

Ice Investigators

These allow people to help map out the surface of the Moon and Vesta and to look for ice in the Kuiper Belt. I’ve spent a fair bit of time cataloging craters on the Moon and finding chunks of ice, but I haven’t visited Vesta yet. She’s next on my list – and I can’t wait to see what they put up once NASA’s Dawn mission reaches Ceres.

We’ll be watching for the next set of meteor showers too – if you don’t already know the schedule, this handy list will help you keep track of what’s heading our way: Meteor Shower Guide. The Geminids are on deck and coming to a December sky near you.

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