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The Roanoke Times from Roanoke, Virginia • Page 31
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The Roanoke Times from Roanoke, Virginia • Page 31

The Roanoke Timesi
Roanoke, Virginia
Issue Date:
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

NEWSUN TUESDAY JAN 29 1985 Roanoke Times Wd Nuus Idea for yule decoration became Mill Mountain Star The Mill Mountain Star By NANCY KELLY Newsun editor THE MINI PAGE MINI ORUM JOKES PUZZLES On Thanksgiving Eve in 1949 the power was turned and the largest man made star became part of the Roanoke Valley It also gave Roanoke the nickname Star City of the It is 88 ll2 feet high and has 2000 feet of neon tubing The star itself weighs five tons Its steel structure weighs 30 tons and the concrete base weighs 225 tons Using 7500 watts of electrici ty the star supposedly can be seen 60 miles away on a clear night Red lights used to be placed in the star after someone died in a traffic accident in the Roanoke Valley but that is no longer done The star had red white and blue lights during the Bi centennial and on other special occasions What started out as an idea for a Christmas decoration more than 30 years ago ended up as Roa most famous landmark the Mill Mountain Star In the spring of 1949 the Roa noke Merchants Christmas street committee came up with the idea and began work ing on the project The committee got permission from the late JB ishburn the former owner of the mountain to place the star there The commit tee also contacted engineering and sign companies to design the star and build a road to it The Roanoke Valley Chamber of Commerce joined the mer chants and helped raise the $28 000 needed to build the star 1 "77 a XI Br I a jj i 8s 1 lk2irKMf Kll ft A Ancient people made up stories on constellations rtM BOU The part of space we live in is called the solar system It is made up of the sun nine planets that rotate around it 43 moons that go around the planets and a band of space rocks called the asteroid belt The sun is actually a star It is made of the gases hydrogen (pronounced Hl dro jen) and helium (pronounced HEEL i um) It does not burn like an ordinary fire on Earth The sun burns by turning hydrogen into helium The sun is the most important part of the solar system It holds all the planets in position in space and gives them their light and heat Without the sun there would be no life on earth It is a source of heat light and other kinds of energy Plants use sunlight to make their own food Plants also give off oxygen (pronounced OX i jen) People and animals eat the plants and breathe in the oxygen In turn people and animals breathe out carbon dioxide (pronounced die OX eyed) which plants use with ener gy from sunlight and water from the soil to produce more food AP I Plessa see ConstellationsPaga N3 shown in this gOVemment photO or thousands of years people have been gazing at the stars in the sky Early farmers would look at stars to know when to plant their crops Travelers mapmakers pilots and sailors learned to use the stars to tell directions Ancient people made up stories about persons ani mals and other objects to describe groups of stars called constellations (pronounced con still A shuns) Understanding stars help scientists learn about the laws of physics (pro nounced IZ ics) and chemistry (pro nounced KEM i stree) The sun is only one of billions of stars in the universe It looks different to us on earth be cause we are closer to the sun than to oth er stars or this reason astronomers (scientists who study the stars) study it to learn about stars much farther away The sun is about 93 million miles away from The planets are miich srrialler "balls df Jthejeathso it doesjnot apea larger than jo 1 rocks and gases or liquids 'and A major solar flare on the right side or the sun is jhoons and asteroids pre rocky yy I 9 I Ku rtjK KhL ''dJr Hwk aw BOU.

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