The Planetary Science Institute is organizing the event in collaboration with UA’s Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium, the UA Lunar and Planetary Lab, the UA Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, the UA student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association (TAAA) and the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona.
When people around the world turn their eyes and their telescopes to the moon on Saturday, Tucson will join in.
Southern Arizona sky gazers will convene at the University of Arizona on Oct. 12 to celebrate International Observe the Moon Night, a global event encouraging people to observe the Earth's only natural satellite.
The local event is organized by the Planetary Science Institute, a private, nonprofit corporation dedicated to solar system exploration, headquartered in Tucson. The local event will be held from 7-10 p.m. on the UA Mall and at the Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium. Activities are free and open to the public.
The international event means that people all over the world, including those in Tucson, will be watching the moon together on the same night.
"This is a great opportunity for people to see the moon, which will be in a gibbous phase, just past its first quarter, during the event," said Sanlyn Buxner, Planetary Science Institute education specialist and research scientist and the event organizer.
"This free community event is a chance to talk to local scientists and educators, learn about current exploration of the moon, and do some really fun hands-on activities," Buxner also said.
Telescopes provided the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association and several UA organizations, including UA Students for the Exploration and Development of Space and the Lunar and Planetary Lab, will allow for close-up viewing of the moon.
Indoor activities at Flandrau will include crater making, exploring moon phases, art activities and more. Also, research scientists from the Planetary Science Institute will give free public talks about the moon.
Free parking for Observe the Moon Night will be available in the UA's Cherry Street Garage and Second Street Garage.