Is it the weekend yet?

As you may have noticed, I’m reserving most of my words this week for my novel-in-progress. But I wanted to share with you this amazing photo of the Valentine Rose Nebula to ease us all into the weekend.

Nebula Sh2-174. Image released Feb 13 by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory.

Nebula Sh2-174. Image released Feb 13, 2013 by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory.

The Five-Year-Old: “Did you know that nebulas are made by stars at death?”

She’s right. As this article on the Valentine Rose Nebula explains, those clouds of red and blue are created when a mid-sized star runs out of fuel and collapses on itself.

Happy weekend, y’all.

About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at, chatting about books and the writing life at, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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