Festival of the moon in Newbury

Round & About


Image: Museum of the Moon by Luke Jerram. University of Bristol, UK, 2017. Photo (c) Carolyn Eaton

Newbury BID welcomes you to enjoy the festival of the moon for three weeks of moon-related events!

Newbury Business Improvement District (BID) are holding a three-week festival between 15th August and 2nd September with over 100 unique events! With such a large number of events there is something perfect for everyone.

The centre of the festival is the globally renowned museum of the moon, where a seven metre, lifelike installation of the moon’s surface is displayed, created by artist, Luke Jerram and captured through NASA images. Accompanied by a beautiful soundscape composed by BAFTA-winner Dan Jones, you will feel as if you are transported straight to the lunar realm.

However, the excitement does not end there, as there are plenty more events taking place. Feel soothed by the moon-themed wellness sessions, engaged by films and interactive storytelling or compelled by talks that will leave you thinking. With a grand number of events, it is easy to spend multiple days at the festival. Especially exciting events, to name a few, include an outdoor cinema, paddleboarding and live music! For the younger ones, and adults too, there are some free arts and crafts to try your hand at.

Operations manager, Alison Drummond, at Newbury BID expresses how the ‘lively community and commitment to arts and culture shine through in these events’, and encourages you to come and join in.

“lively community and commitment to arts and culture shine through in these events.”

When attending, entry to the museum of the moon is complementary, with a range of time slots available, including evening sessions for a beautiful night-time lunar experience.

For more information, please visit Visit Newbury.

To book, please visit Corn Exchange Newbury.

Author: Daisy Harwood

Seeing red

Round & About


Tony Hersh of Newbury Astronomy Group explains more about what we can see in the skies above us this month, including the red moon.

July is exciting for astronomers due to the total lunar eclipse between 8.45pm and 9.30pm on Friday, 27th.

During this event Earth comes between the moon and sun. Instead of plunging the moon into darkness from Earth’s shadow, something unusual happens. Sunlight is made of light of all the colours of the rainbow mixed together, but as it travels through Earth’s atmosphere, the path of the light changes as it hits air molecules and particles. Colours with shorter wavelengths, such as blue, are scattered off in random directions but colours with longer wavelengths, such as the reds, are scattered less. So the light that emerges after being bent in the Earth’s atmosphere has more red colour and turns the moon an amazing ruby hue. Have a look out and see how red the moon becomes!

Turning to constellations, see if you can find part of Sagittarius which is visible low in the sky directly south and appears as the shape of a teapot. Planets are difficult to spot in a lightish sky but Mars is at its largest and brightest all year this month and should be visible close to the moon on the first of the month. Venus should be clearly visible just to the left of a crescent moon at 9.30pm on 15th July and Saturn again just to the left of the moon around the same time on 24th.

Object of the month

When a comet approaches the sun, the frozen gases trapped beneath its surface evaporate and dislodge dust grains from the surface of the comet which can be seen from Earth as the comet’s “tail”. In 2014, after a 10-year journey, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft finally reached its destination with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. For the next two years, Rosetta orbited the rubber-duck-shaped comet, analysing the dust the comet was losing. Recently a landmark study was published, reporting about half of the 35,000 dust grains captured and analysed by the Rosetta probe were made of organic molecules; carbon-based molecules such as proteins, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids. The finding adds weight to the suggestion that comets were responsible for “seeding” the early Earth with organic matter which eventually gave rise to life.

Newbury Astronomical Society hosts monthly meetings for beginners and experienced astronomers. Visit www.newburyastro.org.uk. Email any questions to [email protected]