September 14, 2010

NASA Hosts Chat And Visitors For Observe the Moon Night

The moon is the Earth's nearest celestial neighbor and a geologic wonderland. There are mountains that are many miles high, lava flows several hundred miles long and enormous lava tubes and craters of every size. It is the brightest object in the night sky and has profoundly influenced the course of human civilization.

For early humans, the moon provided lighting for hunting and defined when crops should be planted and harvested. Markings of lunar phases appear in cave paintings in France and defined the arrangement of Stonehenge.

The 2010 International "Observe the Moon Night" is happening on Saturday, Sept. 18.

On Thursday, Sept. 16, Rob Suggs and Bill Cooke of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., will answer your questions about the moon and National Observe the Moon Night.

Joining the chat is easy. Simply go to this page a few minutes before the chat time on Thursday. The chat module will appear at the bottom of the page. After you log in, wait for the chat module to be activated at 3:00, then ask your questions!

'Observe the Moon Night' at NASA Goddard's Visitor Center

Come to the NASA Goddard Visitor Center on Saturday, September 18, 2010  from 6:30 pm "“ 10:00 pm for a fun-filled evening celebrating International Observe the Moon Night. Enjoy guest speakers, hands-on activities, laser ranging facility tours*, a public unveiling of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) images, and of course, Moon observations! Learn why the Moon goes through phases, how it came to look like it does today, and what we've discovered as LRO orbits about 30 miles above Moon's surface. The 2010 International Observe the Moon Night is our opportunity to celebrate the science returned from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which was built at NASA Goddard and reached lunar orbit on June 23, 2009.

* Laser ranging facility tours are open to the first 100 people on a first-come, first-served basis, so arrive at 6:30 pm to ensure your space!

Agenda for the International Observe the Moon Night

(Hands-on activities and moon observations from 6:45 pm "“ 10:00 pm)

6:30 pm - Welcome and introduction
6:45 pm - Remote presentation by a scientist from the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, TX
6:45 pm - Science On a Sphere shows every 15 minutes, hands-on activities begin
7:00 pm - Laser ranging tours begin and run every half hour, moon observation with amateur astronomers begins
7:30 pm - 8:15 pm - Presentation by local lunar expert
8:30 pm - 9:15 pm - Presentation by local lunar expert
9:15 pm - 10:00 pm "“ Hands-on activities, moon observation with amateur astronomers


Image Caption: A last quarter crescent moon is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 24 crew member on the International Space Station. (NASA)


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