17 August 2020

International Observe the Moon Night: An Opportunity for Global Outreach

Posted by Shane Hanlon

A participant describing some lunar artwork at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center’s International Observe the Moon Night 2019 event. Credit: NASA

By Staci Tiedeken

International Observe the Moon Night is an annual worldwide public engagement program that encourages observation, appreciation, and understanding of our Moon and its connection to planetary science and exploration. It is also a time to celebrate our personal and cultural connections to Earth’s nearest celestial neighbor. Every autumn, we ask people around the globe to observe the Moon in some way (virtually or in-person) – whether that be from one’s own backyard, a local library, an event at a university, a planetarium, or other locales. In doing so, participants become part of a worldwide collection of individuals united in admiring the Moon.

Anyone anywhere on Earth can participate by hosting or attending an event, or by joining in as individual lunar observers. All International Observe the Moon Night events are unique. We offer a variety of resources on our website, but this event is one that people can take and make their own, tailored to their interests and the resources they have available, and the needs and interests of their audience. We want everyone, everywhere to observe the Moon, but we encourage people to interpret “observe” broadly. Of course, it is great to look at the Moon in images, with the naked eye, with binoculars, or with a telescope. But, people can also observe the Moon through art, music, and poems.

This year in particular, we are offering more opportunities for virtual engagement. There is also an option to designate an event as virtual or in-person during registration on our website. International Observe the Moon Night provides an opportunity to connect with fellow lunar enthusiasts around the world through our Facebook page, #ObserveTheMoon across social media platforms, and through our Flickr group. We encourage the sharing of creative ideas and meaningful interactions through these online platforms. No matter how individuals participate, they should observe in a way that is safe and healthy for both themselves and their communities.

All are invited to join us on September 26 for this year’s event! Please visit the International Observe the Moon Night website for additional resources.

Staci Tiedeken is the Outreach Coordinator for the Solar System Exploration Division at NASA Goddard.