You probably know the Moon is responsible for our ocean tides. But did you know the Moon is not actually round, but egg shaped with the large end pointed towards Earth? And did you know this is the only side of the Moon you can see from Earth? Learn all you ever wanted to know about the Moon (but were afraid to ask) when the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences hosts presentations and a viewing in celebration of International Observe the Moon Night on Saturday, October 12 from 6 to 9pm. Free.
International Observe the Moon Night is an annual event dedicated to encouraging people to “look up” and take notice of our nearest neighbor, the Moon. From looking at the Moon with a naked eye to using the most sensitive telescope, every year on the same day, people from around the world hold events and activities that celebrate our Moon.
The Museum of Natural Sciences event will take place in the Daily Planet Café on the corner of Jones and McDowell streets. Beginning at 6pm, hear short presentations from a panel of experts:
- “A (Brief) History of the Moon” – Patrick Treuthardt, Assistant Director of the Museum’s Astronomy Lab, will reveal the lunar “timeline,” from the giant impact theory of the Moon’s formation, to the formation of the flat “seas” known as the Maria, to the minor impacts seen on the Moon today.
- “A (Brief) History of Lunar Exploration” – Chapel Hill Astronomical and Observational Society volunteer Tony Rice will highlight lunar exploration from late 1950s to today.
- “A (Brief) Tour of the Moon” – Raleigh Astronomy Club volunteer Ian Hewitt will lead a virtual tour of some of the more interesting Lunar features, including the prominent impact crater named after Tycho Brahe, and some of the spectacular detail that can be seen along the Moon’s day/night line or “Terminator.”
At 7pm, the public is invited to join Museum astronomers and members of the Raleigh Astronomy Club to view the Moon via telescopes from the top (9th) floor of the parking deck located directly south of the Café (on the corner of McDowell and Edenton) until 9pm. Presentations will happen rain or shine; but viewing is subject to weather. This event is held in collaboration with the Raleigh Astronomy Club and and Chapel Hill Astronomical and Observational Society (CHAOS).