People all across the globe are joining together on Saturday, September 26, for International Observe the Moon Night, a NASA-sponsored event aiming to celebrate lunar exploration.
The event happens annually in either September or October, depending on when the moon is in its first quarter. According to Andrea Jones, Public Engagement Director for NASA, the first quarter moon is a great phase for moon observation, because the moon is half-illuminated. The shadows enhance the moon’s cratered landscape.
In addition, this weekend is a little more special. Because of the moon’s slight wobble when orbiting the earth, observers will get to see features of the moon that are usually hidden from plain sight.
“We’ll be able to see the locations of every Apollo landing site, lots of lunar mare, or cooled seas of lava, the dark patches we see on the near side of the moon, and some spectacular lunar craters and landscapes,” Jones said.
In a time of social distancing and separation, Jones adds that International Observe the Moon Night is about more than looking up at the moon. It’s about knowing that your fellow humans are looking at the same moon with you.
You can learn more about lunar science and participate in International Observe the Moon Night from anywhere. NASA encourages you to share your adventures using the #ObserveTheMoon hashtag. More information and resources can be found here.