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PSI’s Pamela Gay To Discuss Shaping Worlds and Making Moons Oct. 5 At UA

Oct. 1, 2019

pamela gay

Pamela Gay

Tucson, Ariz. -- Pamela Gay will be the featured speaker at Saturday’s International Observe the Moon Night activities at the Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium on the University of Arizona campus. 

Gay, a Senior Education and Communication Specialist and Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, will discuss how collisions have resulted in the formation of moons and shaped other space objects. 

Gay’s special presentation, “Shaping Worlds and Making Moons: A Small Talk on Massive Collisions” will begin at 7 p.m. in the planetarium theater Oct. 5. Her talk is free. 

“When we see our Moon, we're seeing the result of one of the largest impacts in our Solar System. Impacts have shaped our worlds in ways we're only starting to learn,” said Gay, who is director of CosmoQuest, a place where people can come together and work on NASA science projects, and active in astronomical podcasting and citizen science astronomy projects. “From expanding out Jupiter's core, to bringing water to the inner planets, these impacts created conditions for life here while setting Venus spinning upside down. This talk will take us on a trip through the Solar System that looks at what we think is true about our Solar System's past collisions and how we can try and avoid future collisions.” 

PSI will also offer hands-on activities at the event. Education and Communication Specialist and Research Scientist Sanlyn Buxner and PSI Volunteer Macey Brown will discuss Apollo mission landing sites, using 3-D models and the images that NASA used to plan where Apollo spacecraft would land on the Moon. 

Telescopes provided by the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association will be set up on the University of Arizona Mall for free viewing of the Moon. UA’s Fred Fox School of Music will provide live chamber music free on the Mall. 

Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium is located at 1601 University Blvd. on the UA campus. 

For International Observe the Moon Night, Flandrau will offer discounted tickets all day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. – $5 for admission to science exhibits and $5 for planetarium shows. Gay’s presentation is free. Planetarium shows scheduled for the event include the documentary film “Desert Moon” about UA’s role in the Space Race at 5 p.m., “Earthrise,” a documentary film about the famous photo of Earth taken by Apollo 8 astronauts, at 6 p.m., Pamela Gay’s special Moon presentation at 7 p.m., “Tucson Sky & Beyond, Moon Edition” at 8 p.m., and the Pink Floyd “Dark Side of the Moon” laser music show at 9 p.m. 

More than 1,000 International Observe the Moon Night events will be held worldwide. International Observe the Moon Night, organized by NASA, is dedicated to encouraging people to look up and appreciate our nearest celestial neighbor – the Moon. From gazing at the Moon with the naked eye, to observing through powerful telescopes, each year on the same day people all over the world hold events and activities to observe and appreciate our Moon together.




Alan Fischer

Public Information Officer


fischer [at]




Pamela Gay

Senior Education and Communication Specialist and Senior Scientist PHONE

plg [at]



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