full moon
An image of one full side of the moon. NASA

Astronomy enthusiasts across the world will be heading outside on Saturday evening to take a look at the moon for “International Observe the Moon Night.”

This event, which occurs Oct. 28, is designed to encourage the observation and appreciation of the moon. NASA arranges the event and hopes that this year all of the people who were interested in the August solar eclipse might stay interested in astronomy, especially long enough for the lunar eclipse in January.

NASA encourages participation through hosting or attending InOMN events near them so that people all around the world can learn about the moon at the same time. The theme this year has to do with the eclipse and it’s sponsored by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter along with the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute and Lunar and Planetary Institute.

The night is meant for people who viewed the eclipse to observe the moon and build on the astronomical observation skills, says NASA. By viewing the moon in different parts of its orbit observers can see the interesting landscape of the illuminated parts of the moon. It will be a waxing gibbous on Saturday with more than half of it illuminated.

In preparation for the evening NASA had made a whole guide to the moon and the events happening Saturday. There’s a map on NASA’s website that hosts an interactive map of all the events that have been registered with NASA and a link for users to register their own events as well if they wish. “InOMN events do not need to follow a set agenda: hosts can tailor their events to match their available resources and expertise, and the needs and interests of their communities,” says NASA.

There will also be a live broadcast for the night and NASA has posted moon oriented activities online for those who wish to participate to use as well. These include moon viewing ideas, a moon observation journal and information about lunar missions and current observations. If you want to try identifying which of the moon’s features you’re viewing on Saturday, you can take a look at this lunar map.

Consider International Observe the Moon Night a warm up for the January lunar eclipse. It’s going to happen in the early hours of Jan. 31, 2018 and will be best visible in Alaska and parts of the Western part of the country as well as parts of Australia and Asia. The eclipse will occur when the Earth moves between the sun and the moon, and effectively blocks the sun’s light from reaching the moon meaning the moon won’t reflect the light and it won’t appear illuminated. Instead of lit up, the moon will appear red because the sun’s light that will hit the moon will be filtering through the Earth’s atmosphere.