Celebrating a trip to the moon

By Iqbal Pittalwala | Inside UCR |


About 200 adults and children attended a celebration on campus July 11 of the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon mission. Attendees partook in telescope viewings of the moon, engaged in hands-on activities, and attended a lecture titled “Fifty Years of Discovery — From the Moon to Mars and Beyond.” 

Children participated in cratering experiments that encouraged them to study the appearance of craters and how they vary according to impact. The Department of Physics and Astronomy, which organized the event, prepared balls of different sizes and materials for participants to create “impact craters” in a sandbox by dropping the balls off from different heights.

The lunar eclipse activity involved the re-creation of the Sun-Earth-Moon system. The participants (“Earth”) held a golf ball (“moon”) to see how the phases of the moon changed as they went around a light source (“sun”). Participants also had a chance to compare the size of the Earth (a small watermelon) and the moon (a golf ball), and estimate the distance between them.