Astronomy Essentials

International Observe the Moon Night is October 16

Large full moon, with person and camera on tripod silhouetted against it.
Man and moon, from Martin Marthadinata in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia. Thanks, Martin! Look here for online events, and events near you, for International Observe the Moon Night 2021, on or about October 16, 2021.

International Observe the Moon Night 2021

International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN) is October 16, 2021. It’s a worldwide event for moon-lovers, held annually since 2010. It’s scheduled each northern fall, on a night when the moon is near the first quarter phase. First quarter moon was October 12-13. It’s a waxing gibbous moon you’ll see in the sky on Saturday evening.

Observing the moon with a telescope around quarter-moon phases is more fun, because more detail is visible on the line between lunar light and dark (day and night). That line is called the terminator. On a waxing moon, that’s the line of sunrises, and just as at an earthly sunrise, shadows are longest along the lunar terminator. So lunar features stand out most clearly then.

How can you participate? Will there be star parties with telescopes, or other events, in your area? Go to the InOMN website to find an event near you. There’s also information about how to host an InOMN event. And you can also share pictures and highlights from your moon-watching fun on October 16.

You’d rather participate online? The Virtual Telescope Project in Italy will be offering a live, online observing session, showing the moon over the beautiful skyline of Rome. The online, free session is scheduled for October 16, 2021, starting at 17:30 UTC (1:30 p.m. EDT). Translate UTC to your time.

Want to stay home and have fun observing the moon with your family? Try this article from NASA Night Sky Network: Weird ways to observe the moon

How to observe, safely

The InOMN website states:

Whether you are able to safely host a physical event or you are interested in planning a virtual event, we are here to help. Please observe in the way that is healthiest for your community and yourself …

Your event can be a small gathering of friends or family, an online program for thousands of visitors, or anything in between. The size, location, and agenda are for you to determine, based on public health guidance in your area, 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 observe and learn about the moon as well as celebrate your personal and cultural connections to our nearest celestial neighbor.

Click here to register your event for International Observe the Moon Night

Go to the event’s website to look for an InOMN event near you

International Observe the Moon Night: A sphere, gray and white, shines in a black night sky half-clouded with pale fog.
View larger. | Our friend Stephanie Becker in the Bay Area of California offered this September 17, 2021, shot of a waxing gibbous moon. It’s the about same moon phase you’ll see on International Observe the Moon Night on October 16. Stephanie wrote that the moon was “in approaching fog last night, creating some beautiful colors.” We agree: it’s lovely. Thank you, Stephanie!

Bottom line: A global, public event – International Observe the Moon Night – is October 16, 2021. You can look for events near you and to learn how to participate online.

October 16, 2021
Astronomy Essentials

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