Here on OWLconnected, we spend a lot of time writing about space. Why? It's just so endless... and endlessly fascinating. There's beauty, mystery, power, and — if you look deeply enough — the answers to how everything began. (Still working on that one.)
And though you couldn't stop us from talking about space if you tried, it's comforting to know that there's actually a day for this kind of thing. Space Day. And it's today!
Exactly! International Space Day was started in 1997 to encourage curiosity about space exploration. And at a time when we're all stuck at home observing quarantine, the idea of seeing the stars is more appealing than ever.
So what do you say? Want to explore yourself some great unknown from the comfort of your own well-known? Let's boogie, astro-nuggets!
Tour the ISS
The International Space Station is currently the outer limit of humanity. At any given time, somewhere between three to six brave astronauts are circling 408 kilometres (253 miles) above our planet at a speed of 7.66 km per second.
We've already shown you what it's like to sleep and go to the bathroom up here. But if you want to see the insides of the ISS for yourself, well you can do it right here! Google Earth*, the same program that lets you tour city streets and islands, is offering access to 15 modules and two docking vehicles of the space station. It's in 360° and fully annotated (with little explanations of what's what) and great way to spend your day somewhere far, far away.
Devon Island, the Mars of Earth
Another cool place to visit with Google Earth is Devon Island. Found in the Canadian Arctic, it is not only the world's largest uninhabited island, it is a place with a terrain that is very similar to Mars. Researchers use it to understand more about how humans might one day explore the red planet. But you can go check it out for yourself today!
Also, read about how the island was brought to life in this video.
Enter the Dragon
Another cool space thing happening today is NASA giving us a chance to hear from the astronauts involved in the Commercial Crew program.
For a quick primer, this is the brand new space program that is using companies like Boeing and Space X to bring new vehicles to America's space garage. Today, you'll have the chance to meet astronauts involved in Space X's super cool sounding Crew Dragon vehicle. Follow the links below...
Get ready to #LaunchAmerica! 🚀 Tune in tomorrow (all times ET):
— NASA (@NASA) May 1, 2020
Want more options? Well, that's the cool thing about space exploration. It's a big universe out there and chances are that if you can dream it, it exists! So set aside some time to do some space-related searching on your own terms today.
Or maybe head over to this Canadian Space Agency page to check out the activities of its Junior Astronauts program. Whatever part of our universe (or universes) you choose to explore, may your day be spacey!
*To view Google Earth, you will need to use a browser that supports the program, such as Google's Chrome.