At Clear Stream Avenue School, students are always expected to reach for the stars. Recently, they did just that. Mr. Fernandez, a Clear Stream parent, an avid stargazer and a member of the Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project, visited with students to provide a hands-on astronomy outreach program that is designed to engage students in science and discovery. Students were equipped with telescopes to view solar flares, sunspots and planets as they moved in our solar system.
On May 9th, students had the opportunity to view Mercury Transit, a rare celestial event that occurs only 13 times each century, when Mercury passes in front of the sun. Mercury is the closest planet to the sun and the smallest of the eight planets.
Students learned that from a distance, Mercury appears gray and cratered like the moon when, in fact, it is about the size of the moon, only millions of miles away. Mr. Fernandez brought multiple telescopes and computer equipment to view this amazing occurrence.
As Mercury crossed in front of the sun, it appeared as a small black dot. The majority of the children at Clear Stream saw the event with their own eyes. Students were given protective eyewear to look directly at the sun without hurting their eyes. Mercury Transit was also visible close up and in living color on a computer monitor. The school offers it gratitude to Mr. Fernandez for showing students infinite possibilities.