When is International Observe the Moon Night?
International Observe the Moon Night occurs annually in September or October, when the Moon is around first quarter. The first quarter Moon is great for late-afternoon and evening observing.
Upcoming dates for International Observe the Moon Night:
- September 26, 2020
- October 16, 2021
- October 1, 2022
If we are unable to participate or host our event on International Observe the Moon Night, can we still officially observe on another day?
Though we encourage everyone to observe on a specific date each year, we understand that this date may not work for everyone. You are welcome to participate on a different day. Participation can mean looking at the Moon, learning about lunar science and exploration, honoring personal and cultural connections to our nearest celestial neighbor, and more. We encourage you to observe as close to the official date as possible, because we select dates that are close to a first-quarter Moon, which is visible in the afternoon and evening ― a convenient time for most hosts and participants.
Are there materials to promote my event?
What materials are available to promote International Observe the Moon Night as a whole?
Do you have hands-on activities that we can use at our event?
Yes! Here are some of our recommended activities.
Will there be a live feed of the Moon?
The Virtual Telescope Project will be livestreaming the Moon on September 26th from Rome, Italy.
How can we get a scientist speaker or local support for our event?
Here are some great places to start your search for in-person, socially distanced, and/or virtual help:
- The Solar System Ambassadors is a program that works with motivated volunteers around the country to share the latest science and discoveries of NASA’s space exploration missions by inspiring their community at local events. (Check a database of local Solar System Ambassadors in your area.)
- The NASA Museum Alliance is a group of informal educators that is designed to help you navigate, find, or even create what you need to teach audiences about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) topics. (Check a map of local NASA Museum Alliance members.)
- The Night Sky Network connects local astronomy clubs with those interested in hosting events to bring the wonders of the universe to the public.
For additional help, we suggest reaching out to your local university astronomy departments or clubs to see if they will be operating in the fall; they may be able to assist you. Typically, university clubs are enthusiastic about public engagement and can speak to the current and cutting-edge science happening in their fields.
Can we get an astronaut to come to our event?
Do you have a map of the Moon?
Each year, we make maps of the Moon with sites that will be visible on International Observe the Moon Night. You can view our 2020 Moon map here. Additional materials about the Moon can be found on our Event Materials page.
Can my class or educational group participate?
Of course! Individual classes or groups can participate in whatever way best fits your needs, interests, and available resources. Or, you may wish to take an interdisciplinary approach and get the whole school involved.
A few ideas are listed here: Art teachers might feature or have students create Moon-inspired art. Music teachers might share Moon-inspired songs. History teachers might discuss or have students research the history of the Moon or space exploration. Social studies teachers might share Moon-related stories or traditions from cultures around the world. Language arts teachers and librarians might highlight Moon-inspired words, books, or poems. Science teachers might discuss lunar science and observation. Engineering classes might build lunar spacecraft models.
You may also be interested in this year's featured activities and resource collections.
Please feel free to reach out to us with specific questions or suggestions.detailed answer
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