Makayla's Magic Paintbox
The Astronomer welcomes you to...

MAKAYLA'S

I have a very special friend who lives in the mountains of North Carolina... her name is Makayla. And it is for her, and the beautiful sky she has, that we wish to "Paint With All The Colors Of The Wind"....

Some of the prettiest colors in the sky happen when our own star, the Sun reacts with the Earth's atmosphere! Sometimes, when it's been raining, the Sun will shine on all the leftover water droplets in the air and send back all the colors in the spectrum to our eyes in the form of a rainbow! It's really cool, because you can see that our atmosphere is curved...

But, sometimes the Sun can make other really neat stuff in the sky!

Tiny ice crystals inside of clouds can also act like a prism then the light shines on them! When this happens, the rainbow's little brother is born... and they are called "Sundogs"!!

Other times, the Sun can light up these tiny ice crystals in a totally different way! And it's special, too. It is called the "Pillar Lighting Effect", and it looks like a giant beam in the sky!

All of these things are lots of fun! But, if I were to paint you are picture...

The very best one would be a sunset!!

Now, let's wait for this beautiful Sun to go down... and the Night to come up! Because there's lots more beautiful colors in the Night too...

So, let's take our magic paintbrush and see what we can color in the sky!

The Sun can sometimes play tricks with the sky... even when we can't see it any more! It can light up tiny little dust particles in the atmosphere, and produce a really cool effect called "The Zodiacal Lights"!

And that's NOT all! Sometimes the Sun gives off lots of electromagnetical energy that reacts with the Earth's magnetic pole, and makes a really special Paintbox treat called the "Aurora Borealis"...

Beautiful, huh? But "The Magic Paintbox" can make colors on things in the sky, too! Now, let's go outside with Makayla... and see what we can find!

Our very own Moon comes in lots of colors! From a soft, blue/white... to dazzling silver! But my very favorite is the when the Moon passes through the Earth's shadow...

Making a Lunar Eclipse! Isn't it great?!!

But the stars themselves can come in colors, too. One of the best of these is the little blue ghost that you see in the sky around Halloween...

The group of stars is called the Pleiades!

But stars come in beautiful colors, too. And the most beautiful and brightest of all the stars is...

Sirius!

So remember, next time you draw a picture... use "Makayla's Magic Paintbox"!

And "color" the sky...