The July Sky



Early in the morning on July 2, 2014, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 was launched into space from Vandenberg AFB on a Delta-II rocket. It made its 30-second launch window, achieved separation, went into polar orbit, and deployed its solar arrays. And I got to be there, or pretty close anyway.


*NASA JPL Image*

The satellite’s mission over the next two years will be to study Earth’s carbon cycle–watching Earth breathe! This year alone NASA will send five Earth based satellites into orbit to study our planet. To learn more about these missions click here: or follow #EarthRightNow, #OCO2, & @RobinEggWrites on Twitter.


To celebrate my viewing of the #OCO2 launch I put together a list of some of my favorite recent nonfiction picture books that call young readers to look UP into space… and keep them thinking down to EARTH! Check out my video of the titles: THE HOUSE IN THE NIGHT, THE EARTH BOOK (Todd Parr will be sending the winner a SIGNED copy!), STARS, LOOK UP, & MOONSHOT. If you or your library would like to enter to win one of the featured titles just post your favorite Earth or Aerospace fact in the comments down below, and go ahead and let me know which title you are interested in! I’ll pick the winners on Friday, July 18th!

HITN The Earth BookStars LOOKUPmoonshot

27 thoughts on “The July Sky

  1. Only 3% of the water on the earth is fresh and 97% is salted. Of the 3% fresh water, over 2% is frozen in ice sheets and glaciers. Less than 1% of the fresh water is found in lakes, rivers and underground. Living on Lake Ontario makes us very appreciative of our fresh water!
    We would be interested in the book Stars or The House in the Night. However, any book you would donate to the bookmobile would be appreciated!!

  2. One mature tree can produce enough oxygen for up to 18 people, depending on the size and type of tree.

    I like to plant native trees in my small suburban backyard. The last one I planted that is now growing is a pawpaw tree. 🙂

    I’d love to win a signed copy of The Earth Book to give away in the Little Free Library of Twinbrook (#7720) in Rockville, Maryland. I’d probably first share it with my grandson, though! 🙂

  3. I’ve always found it interesting that the moon is in synchronous orbit of the Earth, so we always see the same side, and never the other.

    It would be great to put any of those lovely books in the Chelsea, MI Little Free Library!

    1. Congratulations, Anari–I pulled your name for the second copy of THE EARTH BOOK! (Because Todd Parr donated a signed book and I had already bought an extra, I get to give away two–woo hoo!

      Just send along your mailing address to and I will send the book and a NASA sticker along to you.

      Happy skywatching!

  4. Whoa! I researched all of the books and this is a spot-on collection to inspire young readers to LOOK UP! We’d love to add “The House in the Night” or “Stars” to the Little Free Library #1958. However, like others stated before me, any of these would be great!

  5. I would like the book Moonshot for my library. My earth or aerospace fact is a bit unusual. The fact part of it is that it is a quote – that is factual. It’s something Ray Bradbury said that I agree with wholeheartedly:….. We’ve gotta reinvest in space travel. We should’ve never left the moon. We’ve gotta get back to the moon and build a firm base there, so that sometime in the next 40 years we can take off and go to the planet Mars. We’ve gotta become the Martians. I’m a Martian — I tell you to become Martians. And we’ve gotta go to Mars and civilize Mars and build a whole civilization on Mars and then move out, 300 years from now, into the universe. And when we do that, we have a chance of living forever. So our future is investing, right now, in space travel, and money should be given to NASA sometime next year to build the rockets to go back to the moon……

    I think this is so vitally important because space travel will help us solve our problems right here on earth. We solve problems through exploration when we don’t even know exactly what answers we are looking for.

    1. I love your ‘fact’ Susan 🙂 One of the most amazing things about going to Vandenberg for the launch was hearing Charlie Bolden, former astronaut and current NASA Administrator, speak. I tweeted a bunch of clips from his talk (I’m @RobinEggWrites), given right in front of the launch pad of Space Launch Complex 2. He was quite convincing! I consider myself VERY risk averse (no jumping out of airplanes for me), but MAN he made a good case for manned space flight and I’m kind of disappointed I can’t go! English majors don’t get to be astronauts… but they do get to give away great books! Good luck!

  6. Earth is the only planet whose English name does not derive from Greek or Roman mythology. Any of the books would be a great addition to our LFL. Thank you!

  7. “If the sun were hollow, a million Earths would fit inside.
    And yet, it is only a middle-sized star” Quote from They Might be Giants song: The Sun Is A Mass of Incandescent Gas. A great song full of great facts about the sun. 🙂

    Any one of these books would be a fabulous addition to Rosemore Park Little Free Library!

  8. Thanks for giving away books! And I completely agree with Susan. We have to keep exploring space, whatever it takes. It’s vital to understanding our world and to surviving into the future, for the long term.

    I watched one of the final Space Shuttle launches from a NASA viewing area at Cape Canaveral. What an amazing sight! I’m so glad I had the opportunity.

    And here’s a fact: The Earth’s rotation is slowing down! It’s not by much, though: the planet is decelerating by an average of 17 milliseconds per hundred years. That means that our days are actually getting longer, though by such a teensy amount that it will take another 140 million years before the length of a day will have increased to 25 hours.

    As for the books, my Little Free Library would especially love a copy of Moonshot or Look Up.

  9. Here is our Earth fact. The Earth is the only planet that is not named after a god. Roman gods or goddesses names were used for the other seven planets in the solar system and were named during ancient times since they could be seen with the naked eye. They are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The Roman method of naming planets was used when Uranus and Neptune were discovered.

    Our Little Free Library is new to us and our community as well. I am working on getting the word out and hope to see more placed throughout the community and surrounding area. I started a Facebook page Yankton Little Free Library to help people find us and others in the community. If we are lucky enough to be chosen, we would love Stars or Earth or Moonshot or Look Up. They are all great books!

  10. I love all these facts, you guys! Just a few more days and I will choose our winners 🙂

    If you don’t win one of the July Sky titles (and even if you do) you can always come back to the Nonfiction Nook and enter to win other titles (I just posted a giveaway for an amazing color concept book, GREEN IS A CHILE PEPPER:

    I love the work you little free librarians are doing–keep it up!

  11. I love it that all science & space knowledge can’t deny that stars twinkle

    1. Congratulations, Miguelito Elementary (and Aubrey)–I pulled your name for the SIGNED copy of THE EARTH BOOK!

      Just send along your mailing address to and I will send it on to Todd Parr, who generously donated one of his books for the giveaway! He will be sending your library a signed copy and I will be sending you a sticker!

      PS — for anyone else reading, Miguelito Elementary is in Lompoc… right where Vandenberg AFB is. So the kids who read this book maybe, might have, woken up at 3AM when the book of a Delta II rocket launched the #OCO2 satellite into space. Quite a coincidence 😉

  12. Thanks for playing everyone — I always love reading your facts!

    It’s so fun to give books away. I’m just sorry that I can’t give one to everyone. Please remember you can always come back to the Nonfiction Nook and try again!

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