International Observe the Moon Night

Photo courtesy of NASA

By Barb Abney

An event for lunar observers is planned Oct. 29 at UCF’s Knights Plaza with telescopes, a mining robot and other activities.

The event, organized by the UCF physics department, Robinson Observatory and student organizations including the Astronomy Society, is being held as part of the worldwide celebration of lunar science and exploration. The UCF gathering, led by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Education and Communications team, will be held the day after the annual International Observe the Moon Night because of a Knights football game on Saturday.

Everyone is welcome to participate in the free event that is geared toward getting people excited about the moon, said Adrienne Dove, assistant professor in the physics department, who researches planet formation, microgravity, dusty plasmas and collisions.

“My research is focused on understanding dust on the moon, and how the surface is shaped, and how dust gets everywhere,” Dove said. “I’ve always been fascinated by the moon, which is both our nearest neighbor and the only other planetary surface that humans have visited. It’s actually a really dynamic place.”

To make sure others can see the orb as closely as possible, organizers plan to use a camera and projector to beam images from a telescope onto a large screen. Several other telescopes will be at the venue as well as UCF researchers who will speak about lunar science. The Students for the Exploration and Development of Space will have water rockets to launch and the Lunar Knights club will have the mining robot that participants can take for a test drive.

“We just want to see kids, families, students, faculty, staff and the general public come out and enjoy a beautiful evening and learn something they didn’t know about the moon,” Dove said.

The activities will be 6-9 p.m. weather permitting.

For more about Knights Under the Stars events, visit here.

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