According to a news release I received from NASA, this coming Saturday marks the “International Observe the Moon Night," which is a worldwide celebration of lunar science and exploration, celestial observation, and our cultural and personal connections to the moon.
I honestly believe they picked this particular night because the moon will be in its 1st quarter phase that, as I’ve mentioned before, is the best time to observe the moon because of the crater illumination. There is, of course, the need for binoculars or a telescope.
One day each year, usually during September and October, everyone on Earth is invited to observe, learn about, and celebrate the moon together. I am certain this phase was selected because the best lunar observing is typically along the moon’s terminator (the line between night and day) where shadows are the longest, rather than at full moon stage.
If any of my readers wish to participate in this event you are encouraged to register as a lunar observer. You will connect with fellow lunar enthusiasts around the world through Facebook page #ObserveTheMoon on your preferred social medial platform, and the “International Observe the Moon” night.
I think it was about 10 years ago that NASA’s “Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and its sister mission “Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) entered lunar orbit. It was from the interest and enthusiasm celebrating the occasion that “International Observe the Moon Night” was born.
In 10 years, this program has expanded across the globe — and above it, to the International Space Station (ISS). This year everyone is invited to join lunar enthusiasts around the world in a celebration of past, present, and future lunar exploration.
This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. According to NASA, they are building on the legacy of Apollo, reshaping our understanding of the moon with an international fleet of robotic explorers and preparing to return humans to the moon through our Artemis program. Truly, there’s much to celebrate,
I don’t know why but this year “International Observe the Moon Night” coincides with “World Space Week”. This latter event is held annually on Oct.4-10. This year’s theme is “The Moon: Gateway to the Stars.”
Once you have registered your International Observe the Moon Night, feel free to register it with World Space Week as well.
I don’t recall the first time I heard about “International Observe the Moon Night” but I think it’s been around since 2010. From promotional data generated by the event, each year thousands of people participate at museums, planetaria, schools, universities, observatories, parks, businesses and backyards around the world.
Everyone can participate and all you need to do is look up! Learning about and celebrating the moon is even better.
I’m not sure whether our local library is participating or not but although it sounds a little bit like over-kill, the organizers seem to believe it is time for libraries to feature moon books, radio stations to play moon songs, schools to unite around a common lunar theme in art, history, engineering, language and science classes — everyone to explore the moon from their own angle.
“International Observe the Moon Night” is sponsored by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission and the Solar System Exploration Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, with many contributing partners.
In closing, if you are interested in joining the events going on this Saturday, go on the net to nasa.gov and click on the NASA Events: Observing The Moon Night.
Observers have the opportunity Sunday evening to view another bright object as a very bright International Space Station (ISS) makes an appearance passing almost directly overhead.
It will be traveling at over 17,300 mph coming in from the northwest at 8:32 p.m. It will be overhead at 8:36 p.m. and will disappear in the south-southeast at 8:36 p.m.