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Ready, Set, SCIENCE!, by the National Research Council, focuses on K-8 science classsrooms. Check out the other publications in our online store, as well as classroom materials.
When we arrange the stars into constellations it helps us to map the sky
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The Unchanging Sky

The unvarying aspect of the relationships of the stars' positions may have suggested to the ancients something that was analogous to their beliefs about the universe. It is not surprising that they chose to express their beliefs metaphorically, believing that groups of stars, constellations, and moving planets were associated with their deeply held stories of the creation, sustenance, and destruction of the universe. Human beings, even now, use metaphor to express deeply held beliefs, in the poetry and art of societies.

In more modern times some of the ancient designations for star arrangements have remained, giving us a flavor of what the world felt like when the sky was "closer". The names, positions and groupings of stars help us to give order to the sky in our minds.

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The Summer 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, available in our online store, includes articles on rivers and snow, classroom planetariums, satellites and oceanography, hands-on astronomy, and global warming.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF