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International Observe the Moon Night Saturday: A Gawker & Geeker-tunity!

September 17, 2010

What better place to observe the almost full moon tomorrow but at NASA in Mountain View California?

The NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI) joins local amateur astronomers to host a free Observe the Moon night  at NASA Ames on Saturday, Sept. 18 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.  The moon will be in the waxing gibbous phase that night and participants will be able to view the moon through approximately 40 telescopes set up by members of the San Jose Astronomical Association and the Peninsula Astronomical Society. Speakers include David Morrison, former NLSI director, Barry Blumberg, a Nobel laureate and former director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute and Greg Delory, LADEE mission deputy project scientist.

Not in the San Francisco Bay Area?

For more information about the very first International Observe the Moon Night, visit: http://observethemoonnight.org/ The site includes adult and child oriented activities and lots of links to information about the moon in general and other locations which include Point Lobos in Land’s End in San Francisco and more all over the world!

For us, the closest location is:

Los Angeles Sidewalk Astronomers
Outreach at MRT
Mountain Restoration Trust
Calabasas, CA
Phone: 818-599-4134
Link

Fortunately for us, on many clear Saturday nights, telescopes are set up on the corner of Main and California Streets. Professional and amateur astronomers gather and share their knowledge with anyone who wants to look through the ‘scope.

Whether you join a group, look out your window, or step outside to see it, take a moment tonight to toast the moon!

PS The moon is full Thursday September 23.

Photo and explanation from APOD:

Eclipsed Moon and Stars
Credit & Copyright: Jay Ouellet Explanation: Half-shadowed by the Earth, the Moon takes on a remarkable appearance against a field of stars in this intriguing telephoto picture recorded during a partial phase of last week’s lunar eclipse. The picture is not a composite, but it has been digitally enhanced to bring out features covering a large range in brightness. On the Moon itself, surface details are visible in both the bright uneclipsed portion in direct sunlight, and the very much dimmer copper-colored, eclipsed region. Also much fainter than the Moon’s sunlit surface, the background star field, along with the unusual lighting, seems to contribute to an eerie “3D” perception of the lunar orb. Canadian astrophotographer Jay Ouellet took the picture from l’Observatoire de la Decouverte in Val Belair, a suburb of Quebec City, where about 200 skygazers gathered to enjoy the celestial exposition.

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