Head tilted back, eyes closed, deep breath in. Eyes open to a seemingly infinite night sky. The stars scatter across the deep blue and it’s hard to look away. This is the beauty of space.
Outer space is so fascinating that people have dedicated their entire lives to trying to solve all of its mysteries. New information is discovered all the time, and there is still so much to learn. Since space is so wicked cool, there is a whole day dedicated to it!
If you love space, May 1 is the day to show it. Each year space lovers around the world get together to celebrate and learn together for National Space Day. Unfortunately, there will be no partying this year, but there are still a few ways to show your love for the beautiful space above our heads.
1. Look up interesting space facts
If you love doing some digging, search around the wide web for new knowledge. NASA and other space organizations have put out hundreds of articles filled to the brim with cool (and a little scary) facts. Why not spend some of your extra time learning about our enormous galaxy and beyond?
2. Watch a space documentary
Documentaries may sound boring sometimes, but the key is finding the right ones. “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage” by Carl Sagan is a docuseries first aired in 1980. Don’t let its age fool you: Sagan puts space into a unique and unforgettable perspective in only 13 episodes. Its reboot, “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” with Neil deGrasse Tyson is also worth a watch. And finally, “IMAX: Hubble” is definitely worth whipping out the popcorn. The documentary is narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio and celebrates the wonderful Hubble Space Telescope.
3. Just admire the sky
Day or night, the sky is stunning. Quarantine is the perfect time to take some time for yourself to simply look up into the vastness of space. Lay on a blanket in your backyard or look out your window — space is beautiful no matter how you decide to gaze at it.
4. Share your favorite pictures of the great beyond
It’s no surprise that there are so wicked cool pictures of space circulating the Internet. There are galaxies, clusters, spirals and so much more. Use #NationalSpaceDay on social media to share the photos that make you go “wow!”
5. Take some time to explore the “NASA” and “Hubble Space Telescope” YouTube channels
If you really want to go down the wormhole, take a peek into these well-known pages. With informational videos, Q&As with people from NASA and images from space, you’ll be captivated for hours. One of my favorite videos from Hubble jumps into the sky around the constellation Orion and shows some pretty amazing pictures captured by the telescope.
6. See what the Hubble Space Telescope saw on your birthday
This is a super cool program put out by NASA that allows you to see any picture the telescope captured on your birthday. Just type in the date and be amazed! There is a small section of text under the photo that tells you exactly what you’re seeing. Try it out here.
Even with space so close, many of us know little about it. It brings awe to many through constellations, galaxies, black holes and some things we might not even understand.
So on May 1, celebrate the love of space safely and happily. Together, we can admire possibly one of the most beautiful things our eyes will ever see.
Features reporter Taylor Metcalf can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected]