An upcoming astronomy event: in a couple of weeks time, on October 16th, it’s International Observe The Moon Night. The idea being, everyone gets together around the world and, well, looks at the moon.
You might expect an event like this to happen on the full moon. It’s not, however: the moon will be waxing gibbous, a couple of days after passing First Quarter. In many ways this makes it a more interesting sight, as there will be a day/night terminator visible. That is: the line between the bright sunlit part and the dark night-time part. If you get a telescope or binoculars and look at the terminator, you can see the low-angled sunlight picking up ridges and hills, and casting deep shadows into the craters. Because the moon has essentially no atmosphere, the picture you see will be wonderfully crisp and sharp, the ridge of every crater picked out perfectly.
The Moon might be the nearest heavenly body, most of the time, but there’s still an awful lot we don’t know about it. Moreover, it’s fascinating just to go outside and look at. On International Observe The Moon Night you can go and join an established event, or you can put your hand up to host one yourself. Or, if you don’t like either of those options, just go outside and look at it yourself. It will—clouds permitting—be beautiful.