Lunar Lessons
Moon Viewing with the Statesboro Astronomy Club at the Sally Z Fall festival in Georgia
(Credit: Becky Lowder)

It's our closest neighbor and the only other celestial body humans have ever visited. It inspires poems, songs and much confusion. Astronomy clubs across the United States are working day and night to get the word out about eclipses, craters, and the wonderful history of lunar stories.

Michael Sager of the Tri-State Astronomers recently explained phases and the eclipse to a group in Hagerstown, MD: "While we covered moon phases, we added information on the lunar eclipse. Very, very few were aware that there was a lunar eclipse on March 3rd. The moon phase activity was a big hit."

From an introductory observing session with the Norman North Astronomy Club in Oklahoma, Eileen Grzybowski tells us: "We have learned that when we begin to use telescopes that the Moon provides a nice large, safe object to explore. I watched as a few gasped or jumped back. Others reached out as if to touch it. Fascinating!" Take a look at the current Night Sky Sampler to see how to use a simple observing activity to help you explore the surface of the Moon.

Earlier this year, Ohio's Mayfield High School Astronomy Club coordinator, Kathy Lammert used legends and local history to talk with students about the Moon, "We will have several telescopes out to view the Wolf Moon of January. We will discuss Native American folklore and Ohio influences in astronomy." Names for each full Moon come from the Farmer's Almanac and before. You can find more information on the names of the Moons here.

Attend a local star party and learn more about the wonders of the Moon. To find an astronomy club near you, click here.