For the amateur astronomers or stargazing enthusiasts among us, every darkened night brings another strange star, full moon, eclipse, or meteor shower to be delighted by. Even full moons, relatively common as they are, can dazzle. While most of us think of the Moon as just the Moon, it’s magical nonetheless. There’s an international party for stargazers to celebrate the moon just around the corner. Here’s what you need to know, including when to mark your calendar.
What is International Observe the Moon Night?
International Observe the Moon Night is “a worldwide event for moon-lovers,” held yearly since 2010. It’s not necessarily scheduled for the same day, but instead, the sky party is “each northern fall, on a night when the moon is near the first quarter phase,” EarthySky explains.
This year, October 1 will mark the date when all the criteria will be met to have a spectacular night of celebrating the Moon for International Observe the Moon Night hosted by NASA.
“International Observe the Moon Night is a time to come together with fellow Moon enthusiasts and curious people worldwide,” NASA explains. “Everyone on Earth is invited to learn about lunar science and exploration, take part in celestial observations, and honor cultural and personal connections to the Moon.”
How can you participate in International Observe the Moon Night?
According to the website dedicated to International Observe the Moon Night, more than 1,430 events are scheduled worldwide, both in person and virtually.
The website has a map that lists all the registered celebrations already scheduled, making it easy to find something fun near you—or a fun stream to attend virtually. There's a little bit of everything honoring the Moon, including photography lessons, viewing parties, and more.
NASA is encouraging participants to share images of the Moon and browse through the submitted ones from across the world on October 1. The Virtual Telescope Project in Italy will show a live viewing session of the Moon online to show the beauty of the Moon in Rome.
However, NASA also notes that you don’t have to participate in a virtual or in-person event—it can be celebrated in the comfort of your own space, too.
For a full list of events, or to host your own, check out the International Observe the Moon Night website.