International Observe the Moon Night is a worldwide celebration of lunar science and exploration held annually since 2010. In 2018, the date is October 20. There are currently 891 events and participants in this year’s International Observe the Moon Night, whose website explained:
One day each year, everyone on Earth is invited to observe and learn about the moon together, and to celebrate the cultural and personal connections we all have with our nearest neighbor.
So click here to find out if there’s a moon-watching event near you! Or just go outside and enjoy the sight of the moon in tonight’s sky.
This international celebration occurs each year when the moon is near the first quarter phase, which it was last week, on October 16. It’s a waxing gibbous moon you’ll see in tonight’s sky (a bit larger in phase than the photo by Russ Adams, below). Around these moon phases, it’s convenient and fun to observe the moon, especially along its terminator line – or line between light and dark on the moon – which marks the line of sunrise on a waxing moon. Along the terminator, shadows are longest and lunar features stand out most clearly.
Mission teams of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite organized the first International Observe the Moon Night in 2010. Now other NASA institutes help out, too, including the Lunar and Planetary Institute, the Planetary Science Institute, NASA’s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute, and several others. These moon fans want you to enjoy and appreciate the moon as much as they do!
Bottom line: October 20, 2018, is International Observe the Moon Night. Find events here.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.