Free Ice Cream Cone Coloring Page

Dennis Mammana: Here’s How to Find Arcturus’ Celestial Ice Cream Cone

One of my favorite stars is now glistening in the evening sky this week. Look for it not long after dark, glowing a beautiful yellow-orange color low in the east.

Its name is Arcturus.

Soft Serve Ice Cream Coloring Page Waffle Cone, SVG, PNG, Melted
Soft Serve Ice Cream Coloring Page Waffle Cone, SVG, PNG, Melted

The reason I enjoy seeing Arcturus every year is that it heralds the onset of springtime, and for me, that means summer is not far off.

Now, one might question the sanity of one who lives in the desert getting excited about the arrival of summertime, but it’s my favorite time of year for stargazing.

Yes, it can be brutally hot in the daytime, but once darkness falls, the air cools and the stars shine brightly, accompanied by the beautiful and mysterious Milky Way.

Free Ice Cream Coloring Pages for Kids and Adults
Free Ice Cream Coloring Pages for Kids and Adults

Besides, when I was a kid, seeing Arcturus meant there would be no school for several months, and I could spend my days and nights just goofing off and eating ice cream to stay cool.

And that brings us back to Arcturus, for you see, this star marks the bottom of a stellar ice cream cone in the sky.

OK, I admit that the ancients didn’t see it that way. They instead saw Arcturus and its surrounding stars as representing a Bear-Driver named Boötes (pronounced bo-OH-teez), because it seemed to shepherd the stars of the Great and Lesser Bears on their daily and annual journeys around the North Star.

Free Printable Ice Cream Coloring Pages For Kids  Ice cream
Free Printable Ice Cream Coloring Pages For Kids Ice cream

The name Arcturus comes from the ancient Greek word arktouros, meaning “Bear Guard.”

Arcturus is a red giant star lying about 37 light-years from us. Some 25 times larger and about 180 times more luminous than our sun, this star is an excellent example of what our sun will become as it nears the end of its life some 5 billion years from now.

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To some, Boötes resembles a horizontal kite, with Arcturus forming its base where a tail streams off to the south. To me, however, it looks like an ice cream cone tipped on its side.

Just below Boötes, you’ll spot a small, faint arc of stars that the ancients knew as Corona Borealis.

It represented the jeweled crown, or wreath, worn by Ariadne, daughter of King Minos of Crete, but I think the ancients missed the boat here, too. To me, it looks more like a dip of ice cream that fell off the tipped cone above it!

Its brightest star is known as Alphecca, and it’s considerably fainter than Arcturus. What’s more, it’s not even a single star, but rather a pair of stars that occasionally eclipse each other and cause Alphecca to dim and brighten slightly every 17 days.

It’s in this constellation that astronomers expect a nova to appear briefly sometime this spring or summer.

I suggest that you get to know this tiny stellar grouping so that when this nova does appear, you recognize it. Of course, I’ll tell you much more about this exciting event in an upcoming article.

In the meantime, though, I feel a strange need to have some ice cream!

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Free Ice Cream Coloring Pages For Kids And AdultsSoft Serve Ice Cream Coloring Page Waffle Cone, SVG, PNG, MeltedFree Printable Ice Cream Coloring Pages For Kids  Ice Cream

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