Did you know that the moon is 225,745 miles from Earth? Or that during the day the surface temperature at the Equator is 134 degrees Celcius and at night it drops to -153 degress Celcius. Due to the vast amount of lunar exploration we have come to learn a great deal about the Moon.
September 18 is International Observe the Moon Night and celebrates lunar exploration. On August 1, 2009, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Education and Public Outreach (EPO) team celebrated LRO’s successful journey to and orbital insertion around the Moon by hosting a public outreach event called “We’re at the Moon!” at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, MD. That same night, the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) and NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI) EPO teams hosted a similar event at Ames Research Center (ARC) in Moffett Field, CA called “National Observe the Moon Night” as part of the International Year of Astronomy (IYA). The goal of both of these events was similar: engage the local public and amateur astronomer communities in an event to raise awareness of NASA’s involvement in lunar research and exploration. The events were a success. So tomorrow night marks the second annual “Observe the Moon Night”. Anyone interested in the Moon is encourgaed to host an activity or event in celebration of Earth’s closest neighbor.
The official website has many activity ideas. You can also read one of Sylvan Dell’s Astronomy books. Try how the Moon Regained Her Shape!
Influenced by Native American folktales, this fascinating story deals with bullying, self-confidence, and understanding the phases of the moon. After the sun insults and bullies her, the moon gets very upset and disappears – much to the chagrin of rabbits who miss their moonlight romps. With the help of her friends, the moon gains more self-confidence each day until she is back to her full size. The “Creative Minds” section explains the phases of the moon and helps to answer those pesky questions like “why is the moon up during the day?”, or “why does the shape of the moon change? Moon crafts and games supplement the understanding.
The back of the book features activities including:
Moon Observation Fun Facts / Native American Moon Names / Lunar Calendar / Moon Phases Graphics / How to Deal with Bullies
Celebrate the Moon tomorrow on International Observe the Moon Night!