Western University Physics adn AstronomyWestern Science

International Observe the Moon Night 2014 a success

Family moonwatching

[more images of INOMN 2014]

Rover prototype by Argo-ODG

Peter Visscher with ODG lunar rover prototype

As high clouds drifted off to the east, and skies cleared, a waxing gibbous moon rose over Western's campus on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 6, 2014, welcoming Londoners to the 5th annual International Observe the Moon Night.

It was a busy night on campus, as undergraduates were present en mass for a gala evening of entertainment and fireworks on UC hill. This only made INOMN all the more interesting.

Three full-sized moon rover prototypes were brought to campus by Peter Visscher, who is Space/Robotics Manager at ODG / Argo.  Two were parked over by the new Engineering building, where Matt Cross and Andrew Simpson showed off the rover prototype that is a project of the 4th year Mechatronics Engineering class at Western. One rover was parked near the front doors of Cronyn Observatory.

Lunar information table

Lunar information table

The observatory doors opened at 4:00pm.

CPSX and Physics and Astronomy volunteers welcomed the public to various areas within Cronyn Observatory. The main floor contained a lunar book display, complete with a real astronaut suit. Volunteers answered questions about the moon and gave out cool stickers to the children.

In the basement there were three hands-on activities for children, including crater making, lunar art, and a lunar landing challenge.

Early in the evening there were talks given by lunar experts Dr. Nicole Zellner and Dr. Phil Stooke. These took place in the Engineering building, where, after the talks, a panel of experts discussed the moon, and answered questions from the public. The panel included Drs. Zellner and Stooke, as well as Dr. Audrey Bouvier, Mr. Peter Visscher of ODG/Argo, and PhD student Matt Cross.

Back over in the observatory, a movie was shown in the main lecture room.

Moonwatching with the old refractor

Moonwatching with the old refractor

On the upper dome floor, volunteers pointed the historic 25.4cm refracting telescope at the moon. In addition, RASC (Royal Astronomical Society of Canada - London Centre) volunteers had smaller telescopes available both on the observatory deck, as well as at ground level, behind Alumni Hall and behind the observatory. The public was treating all some nice astronomical viewing of Saturn, Mars, the double-double star Aberio, to name a few. Later viewers got a peak at the elusive fading Comet Jacques C2014 E2), which was a real thrill.

Overall, about 100 Londoners attended the evening events.

A family moonwatching

A family moonwatching