NASA wants you to appreciate the moon on Saturday night

With NASA planning to send the first woman and first person of color to the moon by 2030, excitement about our nearest celestial neighbor is greater than it’s been in decades.

So this Saturday, why not stick your head out of the window and give the moon a few minutes of your time?

As you gaze up at the distant rock, you’ll be doing your bit for International Observe the Moon Night, an annual event aimed at “encouraging observation, appreciation, and understanding of the moon and its connection to NASA exploration and discovery.”

If it’s cloudy outside, or you’re up for something more communal, then join the virtual observation party hosted by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, October 16. You can visit via the event’s Facebook page or by hitting the play button on the video embedded at the top of this page.

The online party will include a planetarium show featuring a close-up view of the lunar surface, flyovers of lunar features, and information on NASA’s upcoming VIPER mission that will hunt for water ice at the moon’s south pole.

You’ll also learn more about NASA’s Artemis missions that will send humans to the lunar surface for the first time since 1972, while a panel of special guests will be on hand to offer their moon-based musings.

“It’s a great time to celebrate the moon with people all over Earth as excitement grows about NASA returning to our nearest celestial neighbor with the Artemis missions,” NASA said in a message on its website. “Artemis will land the first woman and first person of color on the moon, using innovative technologies to explore areas of the lunar surface that have never been discovered before.”

International Observe the Moon Night has been taking place since 2010, with the event always held in September or October, as the fall offers some of the best viewing opportunities.

“Whether it’s outdoors, at home, online, or wherever you may be, you are encouraged to be a part of International Observe the Moon Night,” NASA said.

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