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NASA: Observe and “wink” at the moon this month

PASADENA, Ca. (NASA JET PROPULSION LABORATORY) – What’s up this September? September 22 is International Observe the Moon night. This annual event is inspired by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’s (LRO) Mission to scout the Moon for safe and compelling landing sites. LRO is helping to identify sites close to potential research sites with high scientific value, favorable terrain and the environment safe for future robotic and human lunar missions.

The Moon takes about 29 days to go around the Earth once, and it also takes the Moon about 29 days to spin once about its axis. This causes the same side of the Moon to always face the Earth.

We can see the Moon’s far side only from spacecraft.

As the Moon orbits Earth, the portion that we see illuminated changes.

You can join astronomers around the world at lunar observing events, and observe the seven-day old Moon on September 22.  This is a night when many of the most familiar lunar features will be visible, including the landing sites of some of the Apollo lunar missions. You can even hold your own “Observe The Moon” event, and you don’t even need a telescope! Many features are visible with the unaided eye. And be sure to check out the International Observe the Moon Night website, and join NASA along with thousands of other amateur astronomers on September 22 as we share Moon views with our communities.

To learn more about all of NASA’s missions, visit www.nasa.gov. That’s all for this month!

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