Celestial Almanack Review
What is a Celestial Almanack? That is precisely the question I asked myself when given the opportunity to review the February edition of a homeschool resource called The Classical Astronomy Celestial Almanack. and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.
Growing up, I had seen the Farmers Almanac, but as an adult I basically steered clear of most of it because of the materials it contains that contradicts the scriptures, especially horoscopes. It really bothered me to be reading a product that could be useful, but seemed to go against my faith by including various predictions and horoscopes and the like.
Though I longed to understand the skies, as they did in biblical times, everything that I found that studied the skies seemed odd and seemed to steer people away from God instead of steering them to Him. So I just put off learning about how to understand the sky. But the scriptures about reading the signs in the sky continued to nip at my curriosity and I longed to understand.
This photo is of the sky from our front yard.
Again, this opportunity stirred up a question in me? What is a Celestial Almanack and how can it strengthen my faith? How can it help me teach my children about God, our creator, and all He has created. I found the answer on The Classical Astronomy website.
"An almanack typically includes tables of the Sun's rising and setting for each day of the year, along with tables of the Moon's positions, and usually the positions of planets and other noteworthy celestial objects. In this way, an almanac allows its reader to find the time during the day and also at night, which was very important before the invention of mechanical clocks."
"Nowadays, in our high and mighty era of technology, we rely on gadgets, gizmos and other artifices of Man in the place of God's celestial order. We look at clocks and calendars to find the time of day and the day of the year. We use GPS units to tell us where we are in the world. And we never as much as glance up from our busy lives to look at the Moon and stars. Our culture has neglected and forgotten the God-given legacy of the sky." The Classical Astronomy.
There are so many amazing things I learned as I read through this resource, I would never be able to share it all in one short story here, but a few highlights from the February edition I will share:
February 2 is known in popular culture as Ground Hog day, but it is also The Feast Of the Presentation of the Lord. It commemorates the dedication of the baby Jesus at the Temple as recorded in the gospel of Luke 2:22-40
Analemma: The sun doesn't keep perfect time like an artificial clock, but runs fast at some times other year, and runs slow at other times of the year, because of the earth tilted axis and variations in the earth's orbital speed.
An analemma is drawn on the cave wall on the movie Cast Away with Tom Hanks, indicating the path of light that shown through a hole in the top of the cave. This helped him keep track of time. We love that movie!
The winter sky is the clearest to view stars because there is very little water vapor in the air and the atomsphere becomes more transparent making stars easier to see.
Feb 3rd the moon is at its highest point around 9pm. This is the same spot the sun rises to on the longest day of summer. Your moon shadow is just as long as your Sun shadow will be at noon o the summer solstice in June. An easy experiment with the kids is to measure their moon shadow at 9pm on Feb. 3rd, with a tape measure, and then measure it again at noon on the summer solstice in June. The shadows should be the same size. Wow. That is amazing!
Feb. 6th is a waxing gibbous moon. My children and I observed the details of the moon easily with our eyes in the night sky.
My 11 year old son took this photo of the moon from our back yard on Feb 6th.
Feb 7 Full Moon
Feb 14 Last Quarter Moon
Feb 20 Dark Of The Moon
Feb 21 New Moon
Feb 22 Begin Lunar Month
Feb. 26 you can watch the moon pass the closest by Jupiter. Look 4 degrees south of the moon to see Jupiter.
Feb 29 First Quarter Moon
The Celestial Almanack also describes each star and planet in the sky that is visible to the human eye. This is where I need a lot of practice to learn each star and its name. The Celestial Almanack gives several pictures per page showing the exact location of each star and planet. This is a great help to someone like me with little to no experience understanding what I am seeing in the sky.
I am greatly encouraged this resource will teach my children and myself about the sky, the stars, and planets from a biblical perspective, challenging and growing our faith in God. God is a scientist as well as an artist, a creator, our savior, our father, and our friend. Science is not something to be afraid of if we don't understand it. It is an opportunity to know our God even more and appreciate all He has made.
And God said, "Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,
That is precisely the question I asked myself when given the opportunity to review the February edition of a homeschool resource called The Classical Astronomy Celestial Almanack.
and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.
Be sure to check out other Classical Astronomy products too. These look wonderful. All of these products would be great to add to your homeschool science curriculum.
I was given a free copy of the February edition of the Celestial Almanac to review in exchange for my honest opinion. Check out the other stories on The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew review team if you would like to learn what others had to say about this product.