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Taiwanese people 'wink at Armstrong' on global moon watching night

2012/09/22 21:29:51

Taipei, Sept. 22 (CNA) Over 100 people gathered in the Taipei Astronomical Museum Saturday to celebrate the International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN), which this year honors the late astronaut Neil Armstrong, who in 1969 became the first man to set foot on the moon.

Despite heavy clouds obscuring the moon, people were in high spirits because most of them came to the event mainly to pay tribute to Armstrong, according to the museum.

"As part of the international campaign, all participants were encouraged to wink at the moon in honor of Armstrong," museum staffer Lin Chih-feng said, adding it was the first year Taiwan had registered to take part in the global event.

Launched jointly by astronomical communities around the world in 2010, the InOMN aims to encourage people to take notice of the moon's beauty and share that experience with one another.

In honor of the late Apollo 11 astronaut, the organizers of the international event this year asked moon lovers worldwide to submit pictures of themselves winking at the moon to the event's official website at

For the museum in Taipei, Saturday's gathering was the first of many moon-related activities that last until Sept. 30, the Mid-Autumn Festival, when families traditionally gather together to enjoy the full moon as a symbol of reunion.

Lin said if the series of events turns out to be popular, the museum will get in touch with the InOMN team to try to introduce Taiwan's moon-watching tradition to the event, which usually falls around the end of September to specifically observe the first quarter moon.

"To the eyes of Westerners, a crescent moon is more beautiful and worth observing," he said. "We want to share our experience of enjoying a full moon to the world because it highlights our culture and family values."

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)