Date: Friday 21st August 2015
Time: 4 – 9pm
Venue: The Stade, Hastings TN34 3FJ
Price: FREE

A full evaluation of the event can be found here…
One Giant Step Post Event Report

A public engagement event dedicated to the Moon, conceived and developed by space science communicator, Melanie Davies, Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS). Focusing on NASA’s Apollo Missions,this event will feature a unique opportunity to look at – and hold – real Moon rocks returned to Earth by Apollo Mission astronauts. The Moon rocks (together with some rare meteorites) are from the Science & Technology Facilities Council and are one of only five sets on loan to the UK from NASA.

If skies are clear in the afternoon, we’ll start off with some solar viewing through specially adapted telescopes; this will run alongside hands-on activities, including drop-in workshop and a telescope clinic (with advice about buying a telescope or getting help setting up your own equipment).

Stade Hall will then host an informal talk about our celestial companion. Astronomer, Moon specialist and planetary scientist, William Joyce, also an RAS Fellow, will talk about the geological history of the lunar landscape. 

With its big sky view to the south, the Stade Open Space will then become an open air, lunar observing space. There’ll be an array of telescopes available, plus smaller scopes and binoculars, many of them supplied and operated by members of Ashford, Seven Sisters, and East Sussex Astronomical Societies. This team of experts and enthusiasts will be on hand to guide you across the visible face of the Moon – with its craters and mountain ranges – and to share astronomical knowledge and expertise. Saturn will be fairly well placed near the Moon on 21st August, so there’s a good chance of seeing that too. If cloud stops play, the viewing will continue back inside Stade Hall with a planetarium-style sky tour showing the night’s wonders, with Q&As throughout the show.

And if you fancy a beer, a glass of wine, or some delicious food to keep you going, eat @ The Stade will be open throughout the event. 

There’ll be a Red Light Rule around the observing site, when white light (normal) torches will be banned! It takes 20 minutes for eyes to get used to the dark (called ‘dark adaption’), so you don’t want a white light torch beam to go and ruin it. You can make your own red light torch before the event by adapting your own torch, or buy a red light astronomy torch/head torch from a specialist shop or eBay. 

IMPORTANT: Bring something warm to wear, as the evenings can be chilly after dark.

• Disabled access
• Toilets
• Refreshments
• Parking nearby

4 – 7pm
• Solar observing, plus lunar observing when it’s dark enough (weather permitting)
• Drop-in activities…
The Moon Rocks: study Moon rocks, lunar soil and rare meteorites up close;
Dusty Moon: look at ‘soil’ from the Moon and Earth and find out why the Moon is so dusty;
Gloopy Liquids: watch a simulation of how the Moon formed and investigate its layers;
Finding Meteorites: learn about meteorites and why more are found in certain places than others;
Fiery Moon: discover how long extinct volcanos have shaped the lunar landscape.
• Telescope Clinic: get advice about buying a telescope or get help setting up your own equipment
• Citizen Science: a computer-based activity where visitors can contribute to a live science project

7 – 7.45pm
• ‘Lunar Geology’ talk by William Joyce FRAS

8 – 9pm
• Guided observing of the Moon through large and small telescopes (weather permitting)
• Planetarium-style sky tour focusing on the Moon
• Telescope Clinic: get advice about buying a telescope or get help setting up your own equipment
• Citizen Science: a computer-based activity where visitors can contribute to a live science project

“The [Moon] surface is fine and powdery. I can kick it up loosely with my toe. It does adhere in fine layers like powdered charcoal to the sole and sides of my boots. I only go in a small fraction of an inch, maybe an eighth of an inch, but I can see the footprints of my boots and the treads in the fine sandy particles.”

Neil Armstrong – from his first report, immediately after stepping onto the surface of the Moon and saying “That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.”