CAROLINA BEACH — Want to see what the surface of the moon looks like? There’s a chance to gather and do just that, as the Cape Fear Astronomical Society is hosting its first local event for International Observe the Moon Night.
The event will take place on Saturday, Oct. 8, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., at Carolina Beach State Park.
“The moon is our nearest astronomical neighbor, and no one pays attention to it,” said Jon Stewart-Taylor, the secretary of the Cape Fear Astronomical Society. “This is our first year, but we plan to do this as an ongoing event from now on.”
The worldwide event is held every year on the night of the first quarter moon of October, according to Stewart-Taylor.
“The light during a quarter moon makes it easier to see all the mountains and craters on the surface of the moon,” Stewart-Taylor said. “We’ll have a telescope set up for people to use, but you can actually see better using a good pair of binoculars.”
In addition to moon gazing, there will be educational activities for all ages, such as ones showing how moon craters are made and another that teaches about the phases and rotation of the moon. They will also give a talk on how to buy the best telescopes for different budgets and needs, which is information that, according to Stewart-Taylor, is timely with the holidays coming up.
“There are really good instruments out there that are relatively inexpensive,” Stewart-Taylor said. “But a lot of people spend too much money on bad ones, and we want to prevent that and make sure people are informed.”
In addition to partnering with Carolina Beach State Park to hold the event (according to Stewart-Taylor, that’s where the society usually holds its public viewing sessions), the Cape Fear Astronomical Society is also partnering with the New Hanover County Library system. Mary Kleinfeldt, a representative from the Pleasure Island library branch’s children’s programs, will be on hand to do a glove-box activity for children.
“We’re happy to have everyone come out and join us and learn more about the moon,” Stewart-Taylor said. “We’ll have something for everyone.”
The event is free and will start at the Carolina Beach State Park Visitors Center. For more information, call the park at (910) 458-8206 or contact the Cape Fear Astronomical Society at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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