Telescopes will be set up along Knights Plaza from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, giving the community a chance to peer at the moon and night sky.

The free event culminates a week of activities at UCF leading to the celebration of International Observe the Moon Night. Across the world, organizations big and small are providing similar opportunities to view space.

Faculty and students from UCF’s Robinson Observatory, UCF Libraries, the Department of Physics and the Astronomy Society will be on site to help attendees with the telescopes, identify what they see through the lens, and share their passion for space science and research. Not only will visitors get a zoomed-in view of the moon, but they can sneak a peek at Saturn’s rings and the moons of Jupiter.

“The goal of the international celebration is to share the wonder of astronomy with youngsters and potentially inspire a new generation of space explorers with STEM degrees,” said Yan Fernandez, a UCF physics professor and director of the Robinson Observatory on campus.

Physics Assistant Professor Adrienne Dove says the night is one of her favorites.

“Each year our moon night gets better and better,” she says. “For the past few years we’ve partnered with UCF Libraries to expand our outreach with cool hands-on activities and lectures. Our Lunar Knights club and Students for the Exploration and Development of Space group participate, too. Our goal through all these activities and the amazing night of moon viewing is to raise awareness about space sciences and to inspire students and the community to pursue and support science.”

Among this week’s free activities at the library:

  • Wednesday, Oct. 2, noon to 2 p.m.: Make your own moon-phase calendar and check out meteorites.
  • Thursday, Oct. 3, 3:30-4:30 p.m.: “Looking Forward to the Moon” a talk by Assistant Professor Kerri Donaldson Hanna, who is working on multiple NASA lunar missions.

Weather is always a threat and if rains or there is a strong potential for rain, the event will be canceled and rescheduled. For weather updates, follow the Robinson Observatory on Facebook or Twitter.

If unable to make it Saturday, keep an eye on the Robinson Observatory website for future events.