About Moon Day
When is Moon Day? This holiday is always celebrated on July 20
Sometimes called National Moon Day, this July 20 holiday commemorates the day man first walked on the lunar surface in 1969. On this day, we look up at our lunar neighbor and dream. Planetariums often hold shows featuring the moon today.
The Apollo Space program, begun by President John F. Kennedy, was created to put the first man on the moon. Apollo 11 fulfilled that dream, carrying astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin Aldrin, Jr. What an amazing and historic event it was!
On July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 was launched from Cape Kennedy Space Center atop a huge Saturn V rocket. On July 20, 1969, the Lunar Module, nicknamed the “Eagle”, touched down on the surface of the moon at Tranquility Base. Upon landing, Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong reported “The Eagle Has Landed”. A few hours later, Neil Armstrong, stepped off of the Eagle’s ladder, placed one foot upon the moon’s surface, and proclaimed: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”.
Amazingly and sadly, after the Apollo program ended in the 1970s man has not yet returned to the moon. When will man walk on the moon again? The Artemis space program will bring man back to the moon. It will include the first woman to step foot on our lunar neighbor.
Movie of the Day: Apollo 13 (1995)
Today’s Song: Moon River, first sung by Audrey Hepburn in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961).
Here is some interesting lunar trivia:
- Scientists believe it was formed billions of years ago when a huge meteor hit the Earth and broke off a huge chunk.
- On average it is 238,855 miles away. The orbit is not perfectly circular. It ranges from 225,700 miles to 252,000 miles from Earth.
- One orbit around the Earth takes 27.3 days.
- While natural satellites orbiting other planets have formal names, our lunar neighbor is simply called “the moon”.
- It measures 3,476km in diameter.
- Temperatures on the surface range from 127° C to -153° C.
- The moon is not perfectly round. Its shape is called an “ellipse”, a slightly squashed circle.
- Man last walked on the lunar surface in 1972.
How to Celebrate Moon Day
Here are some ways to commemorate and celebrate Moon Day:
- Look up at the moon and dream of going there yourself.
- Buy a telescope to view it in much greater detail.
- Watch the movie Apollo 13.
- Visit your local planetarium.
- Learn more about the moon.
- Find out when the next lunar eclipse will be and watch it.
“Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon. July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all of mankind. – – Neil Armstrong
History and Origin of Moon Day
Moon Day was created in 2009. The first objective is to recognize Neil Armstrong’s accomplishment, being the first person to walk on the moon. In addition, this day is designed to showcase past, present, and future efforts at space exploration.
Neither the U.S. Congress nor the President of the United States has proclaimed today to be a “National” day. Yet, a handful of websites reference it as a national day. Let’s change this. Write to your local congressperson requesting a National Moon Day proclamation.
Definition of “National” Days – and why it so important to distinguish and identify true national days.
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