One Small Step: International Observe the Moon Night

By Keliann LaConte, Lunar and Planetary Institute

"That's one small step" for (a) man; one giant leap for mankind." – Neil Armstrong

Inspired by Neil Armstrong’s famous words upon stepping onto the moon’s surface, we embark on a new blog series intended to help your patrons – even the small ones – take giant leaps in discovering our universe. We’ll highlight tips and NASA resources that are available – for free! – to incorporate into your programming.

The World Is Celebrating the Moon on Sept. 6; Will Your Library Join the Party?

International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN) is coming this September! InOMN is an annual event that is dedicated to encouraging people to "look up" and take notice of our nearest neighbor, the moon. Check out the Observe the Moon Night website for materials and resources and add your own event to the world map. When you're not looking at the moon, try these hands-on activities:

Crater Creations

In the 30- to 45-minute Crater Creations activity, teams of children ages 8 to 13 drop small objects ("asteroids" and "comets") into layers of sand, flour and cocoa powder. The impacts create "craters" – just like those seen on the moon. The children observe images of lunar craters and explore how the mass, shape, velocity and angle of impactors affects the size and shape of the crater.

Mission Moon

Children ages 10 and up use images and information collected from NASA robotic spacecraft to determine the site for a future lunar outpost. Working in teams, they consider environmental conditions, available resources and scientific importance of different locations on the moon. The teams debate about which site is best and work together to determine which single site to recommend to NASA. This 60- to 90-minute activity can be divided into parts.

New to hosting a moon-viewing event or looking for new tips? Download a tip sheet at

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