With many different activities and experiments to offer, last Saturday’s International Observe the Moon Night gave the public a closer look at the moon.
The Hume Cronyn Memorial Observatory at Western University, located just beside Alumni Hall, celebrated the special night with moon-themed talks, hands-on activities, a raffle draw, and much more.
Among the activities was an asteroid experiment; using layers of flour and cocoa powder in a bin represented different layers of the moon, and objects such as golf balls and marbles represented different kinds of asteroids.
The experiment’s leader, Karolina, says that the angle of impact of the asteroid can have a big effect on the appearance of the crater left behind. As she points at specific craters on a model of the moon, she says: “We can see these two craters overlapping each other. Also, over here, we can see this one, and this one, and this one, just like a chain.”
Not only does the angle of impact affect the appearance of the crater, says Karolina, but so does the size, shape, and density, which can each change the depth, width, and splatter.
Another experiment at the event used various desserts such as chocolate bars and brownies to showcase the various compositions of asteroids. Candy bars with a chocolate coating would represent asteroids with a different exterior than their interior, whereas chocolate chip brownies would represent those with multiple compositions scattered throughout the entire asteroid.
Aside from last weekend’s special celebration, the Hume Cronyn Memorial Observatory also hosts open nights for the public every other week.