International Observe the Moon Night is a worldwide celebration of lunar science and exploration, celestial observation, and our cultural and personal connections to the Moon. One day each year, everyone on Earth is invited to observe, learn about, and celebrate the Moon together. Note that we encourage you to interpret ‘observe’ broadly.
This event occurs in September or October, when the Moon is around first quarter – a great phase for evening observing. Furthermore, the best lunar observing is typically along the Moon’s terminator (the line between night and day) where shadows are the longest, rather than at full Moon. This year the Moon Night occurs tonight, 5 october.
10 years ago, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and its sister mission Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) entered lunar orbit. From the interest and enthusiasm at events celebrating the occasion, International Observe the Moon Night was born.
In ten years, this program has expanded across the globe – and above it, to the International Space Station. This year, we invite you to join lunar enthusiasts around the world in a celebration of past, present, and future lunar exploration. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.
“We are building on the legacy of Apollo – NASA website says – reshaping our understanding of the Moon with an international fleet of robotic explorers, and preparing to return humans to the Moon through NASA’s Artemis program. There is much to celebrate”.
International Observe the Moon Night has been held annually since 2010. Each year, thousands of people participate at museums, planetaria, schools, universities, observatories, parks, businesses, and backyards around the world. Everyone can participate. All you need to do is look up! Learning about and celebrating the Moon is even better. Every interested group or individual can host an event.
This is a time for libraries to feature Moon books, radio stations to play Moon songs, schools to unite around a common lunar theme in art, history, engineering, language, and science classes – everyone can explore the Moon from their own angle.
International Observe the Moon Night is sponsored by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission and the Solar System Exploration Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, with many contributing partners.