A severe and lengthy rainstorm over Accra threatened to wash out International Observe the Moon Night at the Ghana Planetarium, but luckily the rain stopped in mid-afternoon, just in time for the 5pm start of our event.
The attendees were a good mixture of families with children, Physics students from the University and others including many for whom it was the first visit to the Planetarium.
We started with a short cartoon (from the UNAWE website), “Who Saved the Moon” which was enjoyed by all.
We then went through the “Earth-Moon statistics” presentation from the InOMN website, using young volunteers from the audience to demonstrate the moon orbiting the Earth, (keeping the same face pointed to Earth) and also the scale model of the distance between the Earth and the moon (someone holding a beach ball for the Earth, someone else holding a tennis ball for the moon, at a distance of about 23 ft).
We had asked children to bring anything they had created to do with the moon, and these were shown to the audience – a nice collection of pictures and essays about the properties of the moon.  One older boy also brought along some photos of the moon taken using his own telescope at home.  Later the children were presented with prizes for their efforts.
We also talked about what was in the Night Sky, Venus and Jupiter being the highlights.
As we moved from our “auditorium” into the Planetarium, the clouds had cleared enough to catch a glimpse of Venus.  The audience then enjoyed 2 Planetarium shows “Astronaut” and “Oasis in Space”.  Although there was still some cloud cover when the shows had finished, finally everyone was able to actually Observe the Moon on International Observe the Moon Night!  The constellation of Scorpius could also be made out, and Jupiter was coming into view as most people were leaving.
Overall a good turnout and an enjoyable evening.  Looking forward to doing more next year!!
Sarah Abotsi-Masters
Secretary, Ghana Astronomy and Observation Association
National Coordinator, Ghana - AWB


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