York University’s Observatory team celebrates 50th anniversary of Moon landing


TORONTO, July 9, 2019 – York University’s Allan I. Carswell Observatory team is marking that historic day 50 years ago when the first human walked on the Moon as part of the Apollo 11 mission.

To celebrate the successful spaceflight that landed astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the Moon to take their first lunar steps on July 20, 1969, the Observatory team is inviting the public to attend a free three-day event next week on Tuesday, July 16, Wednesday, July 17 and Thursday, July 18.

The event will include viewing of the Moon and other celestial objects using multiple telescopes, a screening of the film Apollo 11, and hourly presentations on lunar exploration. The Observatory team, based in the Faculty of Science, is hosting the nightly event from 8 p.m. to midnight.

The event’s lead organizer is Professor Paul Delaney, the Observatory’s director and an expert in astronomy and space exploration.

“The Moon landing was one of the pinnacles of the 20th century from a scientific and a human endeavors perspective,” said Delaney, a professor in the Faculty of Science’s Department of Physics & Astronomy. “It was something that really brought people together, and now 50 years later we have a new generation of people saying it’s time to go back to the Moon and beyond.”

WHO: Professor Paul Delaney is available for media interviews this week, next week, and while he is attending the three-day event, to discuss the significance of the Moon landing, the need for more space exploration and space tourism.

WHAT: Nightly indoor screening of Apollo 11 at 8 p.m., followed by hourly presentations on lunar exploration starting at 9:30 p.m. An Observatory team member will deliver the presentations, explaining the challenges and successes of the missions leading up to Apollo 11 and afterward. The outdoor public viewing will occur from 9 p.m. to midnight with team members on hand to explain what people are seeing. Check the Observatory’s Twitter account @yorkobservatory for a weather posting to see if the telescopes will be set up.

WHEN: From 8 p.m. to midnight each night on Tuesday, July 16, Wednesday July 17 and Thursday, July 18.

WHERE: The film screening will take place in Room 317 of the Petrie Science & Engineering Building, Keele Campus (see Map or #17 on this Map). Observing and the lunar exploration presentations will be on the top of the Arboretum Lane Parking Garage (see Map or #80 on this Map).

York University champions new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-disciplinary programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 25 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 300,000 alumni.

York U's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.

Media Contact: Vanessa Thompson, York University Media Relations, 647-654-9452, vthomps@yorku.ca