Find resources and tips to host an International Observe the Moon Night event—big or small. Then register your event to include it on the event map, as part of a global lunar observation campaign.
Your event can be a small gathering of friends or family, or a community event for hundreds of visitors—or anything in between. The size, location, and agenda are for you to determine, based on your interests and expertise, the interests and needs of your audience, and the resources you have available.
Though we encourage everyone to participate in International Observe the Moon Night on a specific date each year, we understand that this date may not work for everyone. You are welcome to host your event on a different day. The main objectives are for you and your audience to look at the Moon, learn about the Moon, and to celebrate lunar science, exploration, as well as personal and cultural connections to our nearest celestial neighbor.
How to Host an Event in 8 Easy Steps
1. Consider your audience and setting
Who would you like to come to your event?
- How many people would you like to be there?
- Will this event be open to the public? Will you confine it to members of a club or society? Members and their families?
- Could you involve school groups?
Where will you host your event? Make sure you have all of the proper permissions and permits to use your desired venue, and then consider:
- How many people will this venue hold?
- Will this size be sufficient to accommodate all of your desired participants?
- Is there easily accessible parking from which your participants can safely reach this venue, with enough parking spots for all of your expected participants?
- Does this venue have both an indoor and outdoor area? Would you like to use them both?
- Does your venue have access to restrooms?
- Will you be able to turn off enough outside lights so that they do not interfere with telescope viewing?
- Can you make sure there will not be any sprinklers watering the lawn, if you will be using a grassy area for observations?
- What will you do in case of rain?
C. Get help!
- Who will be assisting you with your program? Do you need partners?
- Are there amateur astronomers in your community? Could they bring telescopes, assist with viewing, and/or provide a speaker (if you choose to have one)?
- Are there any universities in the area with astronomy departments or clubs? Would they be willing to help host your event?
- Will you have enough people to help you set up, run, and clean up after your event?
- Check out the Find Partners page if you’d like help connecting to local astronomical societies or the Speakers Bureau.
2. Check when the Moon will be visible from your event location.
Check the times of Moon rise and set in your location, and remember that if you are in an area with a lot of trees, buildings, mountains, or other obstacles that block your view of the horizon, it may be best to schedule your event well after Moon rise or well before Moon set.
No matter where you are or what the weather, everyone can observe the Moon through images, visualizations, or online portals. Beautiful lunar images are a great decoration, rain or shine. Galleries of lunar videos and other visualizations are available through NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio. Visitors can also explore the Moon through websites such as MoonTrek.
3. Browse and download advertising materials and resources.
The Event Materials page includes activity suggestions, Moon maps, printable handouts, and presentation slides that you can use at your events.
4. Register Your Event
Register to put your event and location details on the map! By registering, you will promote your event, gain access to the most up-to-date event materials, and receive evaluation training.
5. Promote your event
Now that you’ve got all the plans made, it’s time to attract participants! Whatever your intended audience, we have materials and a press release to help you share your event. Get the word out about your event via social media, posters in your neighborhood, advertisements in local papers or newsletters, and connections with clubs, schools, or other organizations that may be interested in attending.
6. Host–and have fun!!!
The main event! Make sure your participants, your volunteers—and you!—are (safely!) engaged, excited, and learning and sharing information about the Moon. Check out the Sample Event and images of past events for ideas.
We hope that all events will be spectacular successes—and if they are, we would like to hear about it! However, just as importantly, we’d like to know if anything did not work out as you hoped, and what we could do to help you improve your future events.
At your event, encourage your attendees to fill out the participant’s evaluation survey at your event to ensure their voices and opinions are heard, and their suggestions considered.
Our evaluation team will work with you, on request, to help design a visitor survey that meets your needs for your specific event.
After your event, please complete a host survey to let us know how we can better serve you and your International Observe the Moon Night audience in the future.
8. Celebrate and Share
Make sure to celebrate your contribution to this global event by downloading and completing your certificate of participation.
Share your photos from your event on our Flickr page. It’s a powerful way to see how people all over the world celebrated International Observe the Moon Night. Check out #observethemoon on social media and contribute your own stories.