The 6th annual International Observe the Moon Night, celebrated on Saturday, Sept 19, 2015, was a great success.
This worldwide celebration of the moon is presented at Western University by the Exploring the Stars program, CPSX (Centre for Planetary and Space Exploration), the London Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, the CLRN (Canadian Lunar Research Network), and the Planetary Society. The local event is hosted by the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
North winds and cloudy skies greeted the first visitors, but there was plenty to keep everyone busy inside the warm confines of the Hume Cronyn Memorial Observatory.
Both young and old were able to make their own impact craters, or they could test their skills at identifying impact craters in the solar system. The artistically inclined could make astronomical art.
There was a wonderful display of meteorites and impact rocks from Earth.
Everyone could enter the raffle for prizes.
Public talks began in the classroom at 6:30pm. Professor Jan Cami welcomed the visitors and introduced the speakers. Patrick Hill led off with an introduction to the Earth - Moon system and then went on to describe his research on the isotopic analysis of real lunar samples loaned by NASA.
The next talk was given by Zach Morse, who described his research on the gigantic and enigmatic Mare Orientale.
Last but not least, RASC member Peter Jedicke gave a delightful primer on lunar and solar eclipses, and gave important information about the upcoming total lunar eclipse of September 27, 2015. Cronyn Observatory will be open for this event.
As the art prize and draw winners were announced, the skies cleared as if on queue. Most visitors adjourned upstairs where they could view the moon and Saturn through various telescopes.
At one of these telescopes, RASC member Dale Armstrong helped visitors set up their smart phones to take their own lunar photographs.
Close to 200 visitors came and went during the evening.
Organizers of the event were Parshati Patel of CPSX and Bhairavi Shankar of CPSX and CLRN.