Washington, Sep 18 (ANI): People around the world will gather this Saturday to observe and examine Earth's nearest celestial neighbour as part of the first ever International Observe the Moon Night.
It is a joint effort of NASA and several partners to raise wareness about the scientific importance of the moon
"If we can get people to notice the moon a little more, they might notice it when it's in the news," National Geographic News quoted Andy Shaner, spokesperson for the Lunar and Planetary Institute, as saying.
Around 370 official events are currently scheduled in nearly 50 countries. But people can have their own moon party from just about anywhere, said Shaner.
"The great thing about this is you could have your own event on your back porch while barbecuing with your friends
"Or you can go to your local observatory. It's anything you want to do," he said.
To observe features on the moon, a telescope or binoculars are helpful but not required, said Mark Hammergren, an astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.
"A lot of people like to look at the moon when it's full.
"But that's when the sun is hitting it straight on, so you don't get the big shadows" that help bring out details of the moon's topography, said Hammergren.
Hammergren also suggested some of the moon highlights which one may look for.
The moon's many craters are some of the easiest features to examine. For example, Tycho crater on the moon's southern hemisphere is visible even to the naked eye.
During a waxing gibbous moon, people on Earth can clearly see the line, terminator, which separates the moon's day and night sides.
One of Hammergren's favorite features on the moon are lunar rilles, channels on the moon carved out long ago by flowing lava.
"The most famous is Hadley Rille, where the Apollo 15 spacecraft moon lander came down near," he added. (ANI)