Schools MoonWatch 19 - 29 November 2009

Quarter phase Moon
The Moon at Quarter Phase.

The Moon is our closest celestial neighbour and constant companion in space. But through a good telescope, the Moon becomes a remote and desolate world of craters, mountains and mare (lunar seas). From the 19th to the 29th November, the International Year of Astronomy 2009 is promoting a Schools Moonwatch event.

During this ten day period, schools, colleges and astronomy groups around the UK will be hosting evening observing sessions to allow students and their parents to look at the Moon's surface through a telescope.

These particular weeks have been chosen for three reasons, (1) to catch the Moon over a number of different phases, (2) at a time when it gets dark early, and (3) at a time of year when it remains high over the horizon for a long time after sunset. Hopefully the weather will allow enough clear nights around the UK so that most of us can study the lunar surface in more detail.

If you want to find out if there are any events near you, then use the following link to the IYA2009 website. If you are a teacher and would like to get involved, then why not post your event with IYA2009. The Schools Moonwatch event will prove a wonderful opportunity for teaching students about the phases of the Moon and our place in the Solar System.

Don't forget that you can also request an image of the Moon using the Liverpool Telescope, by going to the Go Observing section.