Saturday night is “International Observe the Moon Night” https://www.nasa.gov/observe-the-moon-night or InOMN for short. This year also marks the 10th anniversary of this annual event https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2019/international-observe-the-moon-night-celebrates-10-years as well as taking place a few months after the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s landing on the Moon https://wtop.com/gallery/media-galleries/photos-apollo-11-the-1st-mission-to-the-moon/ . NASA also states,”This year, International Observe the Moon Night coincides with World Space Week! World Space Week is held annually on October 4-10. This year’s theme is “The Moon: Gateway to the Stars.”
International Observe the Moon Night is sponsored by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) https://lunar.gsfc.nasa.gov and the Solar System Exploration Division of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, with support from many partners.
Observers and lovers of the Moon worldwide will be looking at the Moon and sponsoring Moon watching events.
As stated on NASA’s InOMN webpage, “International Observe the Moon Night is upon us!” Join humanity’s celebration of lunar exploration and science October 5th, 2019, by looking at the alluring and inspiring Moon. Beginning in 2010 International Observe the Moon Night has,“invited participants all over the world to come together, watch the Moon, and celebrate our nearest celestial neighbor.”
In the DMV this year there are a number of InOMN events being held. NASA Goddard, NASA Wallops, Maryland Science Center, the National Air and Space Museum’s Haas Public Observatory and others are all hosting InOMN events. Click on the link https://moon.nasa.gov/observe-the-moon/attend-an-event/ for further information and see if there is an event near you.
Take a look at the Moon any night it is visible and you can see two basic colors - white and gray. The white is the ancient lunar crust while the gray marks areas where lunar lava filled in huge impact basins caused by asteroids and comets hitting the Moon. Any modern optical aid such as binoculars or small telescopes will show the Moon in wondrous detail. You can also see craters on the Moon with your unaided eye, especially bright Tycho with its rays on the lower Full Moon and Copernicus in the middle of the Moon when it is 10 days old.
By the way - that bright “star” to the upper right of the Moon you will see is the ringed planet Saturn at over 900 million kilometers from Earth. Its light takes almost 83 minutes to reach Earth as compared to 1.3 light seconds for moonlight to reach us.
Get out and ponder the Moon…humanity is headed back to stay this time https://wtop.com/the-space-place/2019/07/column-apollo-11s-legacy-and-what-to-look-forward-to-next/ .
Sky Guy in VA
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