Look Up! It's 'International Observe The Moon Night'


International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN) is on Oct. 28, and NASA is encouraging everyone to participate. Where can you celebrate and what are the things you may want to look out for?

International Observe The Moon Night 2017

Every year since 2010, people all over the world are invited to come together on InOMN to celebrate Earth's very own moon. Though the moon is always there for our viewing every single night, InOMN is an annual event that encourages every person on the planet to observe, understand and appreciate the moon. The event brings together space and moon enthusiasts, educators, scientists, and just about anyone who would like to look up at and observe the moon.

InOMN is often celebrated in the fall, when the moon is at first quarter, and this year NASA is holding a special viewing event which anyone can attend for free at the Goddard Visitor Center. The theme for this year's event is eclipses, which is quite appropriate after last August's total solar eclipse, and just in time for January 2018's lunar eclipse.

Anyone who would like to attend the event at NASA may get space-themed treats, and are encouraged to wear space-themed costumes.

The Best Views Of The Moon

While the moon in its entirety is quite fascinating, experts expect that the best views of the moon, especially on InOMN, will be along the terminator, or the line which separates the day and night side of the moon.

By the terminator, one may see a number of lunar maria or lunar seas such as the Mare Ibrium, the Mare Serenitatis, the Mare Fecunditatis, and the Mare Nectaris. These were once thought to be seas of water on the moon, but are now known to be large plains of solidified lava. The lunar maria may be seen even with binoculars or just the naked eye.

Other lunar objects you may observe are landforms such as the Apennine Mountain Range on the northeast rim of the Mare Ibrium, dark craters showing evidence of lunar volcanic eruptions, and the Straight Wall, which is actually a lunar fault line about 110 kilometers long.

Whether it's InOMN or not, it's nice to look up at the moon once in a while to appreciate just how much it affects our life on Earth. After all, it affects our seas' tides, and its presence close to Earth is what helps make our climate stable enough to be habitable.

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