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Who are you (in relation to the Federation of Spanish Astronomical Associations)?

Currently, I am an Activities Coordinator. My job is to search for international activities related to astronomy outreach, and promote them among organizations and outreach centers for their development.

A small crowd observes the Moon at night, in a large paved area with trees in the background.
International Observe the Moon Night activities hosted by the Asociación Valenciana de Astronomía in 2019. Courtesy of FAAE.

What is the Federation of Spanish Astronomical Associations (FAAE)?

The Federation of Spanish Astronomical Associations (FAAE) is an organization that brings together more than 70 associations of amateur astronomers with around 7,300 people distributed throughout the Spanish geography. Within our objectives, in addition to bringing together astronomical associations in Spain, we support their relationships with professional institutions in astronomy and astrophysics. We also promote the defense of the dark sky as a right to be preserved for the next generations, and we disseminate scientific culture, especially astronomy and related sciences.

Where is the FAAE from?

FAAE is a Spanish organization that is not located in a specific locality since the Associations that are part of the Federation are distributed throughout the national geography.

How did the FAAE get involved in International Observe the Moon Night?

When I became a member of the FAAE Board of Directors in March 2017, International Observe the Moon Night was an activity that few people knew here in Spain. My Association (AstroGEDA Elche) had participated on several occasions, and I thought that I could bring this activity to more associations. I presented the idea to the rest of my colleagues who make up the Board of Directors, and they found it very interesting. That year, I promoted the event through our social networks and mailing lists, involving all FAAE member associations. Although some associations were unable to carry out activities due to bad weather, the response was very positive. It was then that we decided to be part of the International Observe the Moon Night team and be more involved in the organization of this event in our country.

Two people have a conversation over a telescope, with other observers in the background.
International Observe the Moon Night event, hosted by Agrupación Astronómica de La Rioja in 2019. Courtesy of FAAE.

What’s your favorite International Observe the Moon Night memory?

Each International Observe the Moon Night is a unique experience, no two are alike. My favorite part is when I receive the results from the associations that have been able to participate and see that we have helped get thousands of people to observe the Moon. It is the result of teamwork and I like that aspect.

What’s your favorite way of observing the Moon?

It is beautiful to observe the Moon using any instrument, even with the naked eye it is wonderful, but perhaps the telescope is my favorite instrument because we can get a lot of details from it.

Do you have any relevant tips for this method of observing?

Just enjoy, it doesn't matter which instrument you use, even using online telescopes. The important thing is to enjoy it and have fun with the Moon. Without the Moon, we might not be here.

What’s your favorite Moon-related hands-on activity?

When I do activities in schools, what children like the most are making craters like the ones on the Moon. I fill trays of flour and we throw small balls of different sizes, weights and materials so that they can see why there are different types of craters. I really enjoy doing this activity with them because at the end we are all covered in flour, hahaha.

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