Presentation #523.07 in the session “Education and Public Outreach I: Citizen Science, Visualizations, and Public Engagement”.
International Observe the Moon Night is an annual worldwide public event that encourages observation, appreciation, and understanding of our Moon and its connection to NASA planetary science and exploration. In 2020, everyone on Earth was invited to join the celebration through hosting or attending a public or private event and/or by registering as an individual observer. International Observe the Moon Night has steadily grown worldwide since its beginning in 2010. In 2020, there were a total of 3735 registrations, 1743 events, and 2032 individual observers. Events and observers participated on seven continents in 104 countries, all 50 US States, Puerto Rico, Guam, Washington DC, and the US Virgin Islands. Over a third of total events were held virtually. To support this year’s increase in virtual events, the International Observe the Moon Night team provided additional support for participation including hosting its first ever live stream produced simultaneously for YouTube Live, Twitch, and NASA TV’s channel. Many of the innovations made for 2020 will become standard for upcoming years including live streaming speakers and views of the Moon. Given the need to reach individuals practicing physical distancing due to COVID19, social media was the dominant method for both promoting the event and interacting with participants across the world. Overall, 865 accounts, tweeting in 22 languages, contributed 1423 unique tweets in September alone. The most popular Tweets - those with 200 or more retweets - all came from NASA accounts or Buzz Aldrin, with 1 exception; a viral tweet by Australian space enthusiast TomFulop, showing the ISS in front of the Moon. Among accounts with 1000 or more followers, tweets that included Moon images were the most popular. Feedback about diverse experiences were collected from over 600 individuals in 45 countries. Over 60% of survey respondents participated in their first International Observe the Moon Night in 2020. Overall, observers reported that they learned more lunar exploration and increased in their interest to learn more. Join us for this year’s International Observe the Moon Night on October 16, 2021.