Friday, December 17, 2010

Strange Stars

So, I've decided to show all three of my followers how to make paper stars! This is fun and easy to make. They, also would make a great Christmas present. Just fill a jar with these little stars and a loved one will have plenty of wishes for the rest of the year. Now, let's learn how to make them in 8, simple steps!!

Step 1:
Collect the following supplies: Paper (wrapping paper or normal), scissors, and a ruler!

Step 2:
Measure out a width of 1 cm and a length of 20-25cm and cut out a strip of paper. 

Step 3:
Wrap one end of the strip around as if you were making a cancer bow. 
Step 4:
Now, fold that little tail end underneath and through the hole in a not (but make sure that the top that you're folding through is small).

Step 5:
Fold the tail behind the shape...notice that it's becoming a pentagon!

Step 6:
Next is confusing, so pay close attention to the pictures! You are going to fold the long tail (not the short one you just folded back) around the pentagon...but not just any folding. Fold it along the edges of the pentagon, so that you are following it's shape. Study the pictures carefully.

Step 7:

  Once your strip has become too short to fold, you are going to fold it underneath the easiest strip of folded paper to reach. It should fit snugly and perfectly If any sticks out, but it with your scissors.

Step 8:
Now, you will need two hands to do this...squeeze each point with your index finger and thumb until the star starts to "poof" out. I couldn't exactly show it in the picture, but hopefully you get the gist.
And VOILA!! You have a STAR!

Speaking of stars, this Monday Night (technically, Tuesday), the Winter Solstice, December 21st, you will have the chance to witness a total lunar eclipse! This will be your only chance to see one if you are living in the central time one like me until 2014!! A Lunar Eclipse is seen by everyone at the same time. People all across the United States, South America, portions of Eastern and Western Europe, and even in East Asia will be able to see it Monday night. I think it's spectacular to think that people from all corners of the globe will be watching the same beautiful phenomenon with the same wonder, just different times on their clock. In a way, it's a unifying occurrence.

There are three types of Lunar Eclipses: Penumbral, Partial, and Total. A Complete Lunar Eclipse happens when the full moon passes across the Earth's umbral shadow. This means that the earth is directly between the Sun and the Moon. During a Lunar Eclipse, some of the light from the Sun is strained through the earth's atmosphere. This causes the atmosphere to act like a "lens", allowing for the moon to appear red. So, for all you photographers out there, this is good stuff!

For the Total Lunar Eclipse viewers in the central time zone, the eclipse starts at 1:41am and ends at 2:53 am.  Below the moon during totality, the constellation Orion the Hunter, will also appear in the winter sky. These will appear as 4 stars making up the "hunter" and 3 stars making up the "belt". Above Orion will be Taurus, the Bull, and below and to the left of Orion will be the brightest star, Sirius. In the evening, earlier on in the night, if you look hard you may see a large, silvery "star" with no twinkle, and that's the good ole planet Jupiter

There are lots of things happening this Winter Solstice, so keep your eyes open and don't miss them! Happy Holidays!