November is packed with great opportunities to learn more about astronomy.
Event 1. Parts of northern Australia will be experiencing a solar eclipse, on November 14, 2012 (their time), which is roughly 5:00 p.m. EST November 13 in the U.S.
This video from NASA shows why astronomers are traveling to Australia for the eclipse. It is an unique opportunity to study the inner corona of the sun.
The excitement generated by an eclipse is often a good time to introduce age-specific information about the sun and our solar system.
From the comments on the first video, it seemed like there were a lot of misunderstanding about solar eclipses. I looked up this second video that is helpful in explaining why solar eclipses don’t happen all the time.
Event 2. Meteor showers
Two meteor showers have potential in November. The Northern Taurid shower peaks aound midnight on Monday November 12, 2012 and the annual Leonid meteor shower is due to appear on November 17, 2012.
Looking for a deeper involvement? NASA also has an extensive list of citizen science projects. Some, like the Rock Around the World, are definitely child-friendly.
A new children’s book:
National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Space (First Big Books) by Catherine D. Hughes and illustrated by David A. Aguilar