Back in the day, while weathercasting in Roanoke, Virginia, circa 1985, I came across Jack Borden, a former reporter himself and founder of For Spacious Skies. Jack’s philosophy was that we simply are always looking anywhere but UP -- at our coffee, our desks and now our phones and other screens. He believed we should take a moment to look at the ever-changing skies and getting a child to see the unfolding heavens is just as important as any other art we teach.
Armed with interviews, ideas, and a whole curriculum for teachers, my station WDBJ7, supported a school-wide project getting hundreds of teachers to bring the sky into the classroom. We featured kids and their sky art, sky poetry, sky rapping (yes, rapping was gaining huge popularity back then!), sky everything and anything.
Jack and For Spacious Skies is thought to be the reason we have LOOK UP AT THE SKY day tomorrow, April 14th! There is even an entire webpage for more information and ideas for you and your (bored) kids to participate!
The website has a special video from Charles Kuralt featuring Jack and For Spacious Skies -- a passion Jack actually quit his job to pursue! So here’s to Jack and promoting love for the magic of the skies. He sent me an email just last week:
Hi Frank...Great to see you are still at it! At this end..I am still vertical, still above room temperature but so old that I no longer buy green bananas. Fondly, JB
This week will be a nice sky-watching week, especially at night with clear, crisp cool skies. Thanks to viewer Terri Patterson for pointing out that the next three mornings before dawn you can see the Moon sweeping by Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Check out Tonight’s Sky website for more! I’m looking for some remarkable sunsets!
Also, from viewer Joe Dellinger, Fort Bend Astronomy Club: One thing to notice this week is the blazing bright planet Venus after sunset. It is the brilliant white “star” high in the West at sunset, and low in the WNW at 10 PM. This week Venus is setting as late as it ever sets. It is still up even after 11PM, which only happens for a couple of weeks every 8 years. Over the next few weeks Venus will continue to get brighter, but rapidly lower, and it will disappear from view in late May as it switches to becoming a morning object.
See, people love the sky!! Thanks, Joe!