Don’t be surprised if you see a lot of people outside at night with telescopes looking up at the night sky. For three years now, on the same night of October 12th people have been going out at night and observing the closest neighbor to Earth. On September 18, 2010 the International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN) was formed for professional and amateur astronomers to study the moon and share their knowledge with one another.
Ever since 2010 this annual event has grown in dramatic fashion. Today nearly 300 events will be orchestrated in over 40 countries in such places as observatories, high schools, colleges, NASA organizations and of course whoever wants to throw their own little backyard soiree. The InOMN is sponsored by multiple astronomical and NASA organizations and is considered to be an educational outreach program. Some people might ask why have this event in October on this particular date and why not have it in the summertime when it is warming and people are more willing to stay outside later at night. Well, the reason would be at this time of year is during the waxing gibbous phase which is supposed to enhance the visibility of the lunar craters on the moon.
For someone like me still being new to astronomy, this is an excellent opportunity for me to branch out and learn as much as I can about the moon. With events going on all across the country and in many other countries it would be easy for me to seek out and learn from someone who is knowledgeable in this subject. And the great thing is, if I didn’t want to go outside I can find an event streaming live on the internet and still learn a few things. So, remember tomorrow night, October 12th make sure you don’t miss out on International Observe the Moon Night and find an event near you. You would be surprised at some of the neat things you could learn.
Image courtesy of WikiCommons