Help Name 2007 OR10

I posted in February a little about How Astronomical Objects Get their Name.  I found another interesting project that would lend itself to this discussion.  The Astronomers who discovered 2007 OR10 are gathering public feedback for the name they should suggest to the Minor Planet Center (MPC) and the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

2007 OR10 is a Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) with an elliptical orbit of between 33 au and 101 au. IIt is likely a mixture of ice and rock and has one of the reddest surfaces ever found in the Kuiper belt.  It is approximately 1250 km in diameter.  Which is smaller than Pluto and Eris and some of the other KBOs, but that size estimate earns 2007 OR10 a spot on the list of the top 10 largest KBOs.  It even has a small satellite object (moon).


They’ve narrowed it down to three names all of which meet the criteria for naming Minor Planets.  They tried to select deities who were linked to the colour red and also where there was a theme of inside turning outside or with water ice/snow.

Gonggong” is a Chinese water god with red hair and a serpent-like tail. He is known for creating chaos, causing flooding, and tilting the Earth.

Holle” is a European winter goddess of fertility, rebirth, and women. Holle makes snow by shaking out her bed. She is a patroness of household crafts especially spinning. She is linked to the Yuletide (winter solstice) season associated with mistletoe and holly, evergreen plants bearing red berries.

Vili” is part of the Æsir, Vili is a Nordic diety. Vili, together with his brothers Odin and Vé, defeated frost giant Ymir and used Ymir’s body to create the universe. Ymir’s flesh and bones were forged into the Earth, with Ymir’s blood becoming the rivers and oceans.

Click here to vote on your favorite.  The voting will be open until May 10.

Magnetic Pole

It is not uncommon during discussions of map and compass work to find yourself explaining the difference between magnetic north and true or geographic north.  I knew that the magnetic north pole moved over time but I did not know that it’s movement was accelerating to the point where scientists were having to update their models of the Earth’s magnetic field sooner then expected.    Currently, it seems the magnetic pole is now closer to the geographic pole then at any time during the history of Guiding.  For more details see: Earth’s magnetic field is acting up and geologists don’t know why

Magnetic Pole

How to Identify Snowflakes

I got this idea from a blog post from Ontario Parks.

What you Need:

  1. A day when it is snowing
  2. magnifying glasses
  3. some snowflake charts (you might want to put them inside ziplock bags so they don’t get wet.)
  4. warm winter clothes

What to do:

    1. Before you start you might want to review this blog
      How Snowflakes Get Their Shape by . It answers many questions I would expect to come up in an activity like this and it is away nice to have the answers top of mind.
    2. Gently catch snowflakes or scoop up freshly fallen snow on the back of your mittens or a black piece of felt.
    3. Examine the snowflake and see where it fits in on the chart.
    4. Repeat until you’ve identified a number of different types of snowflakes
    5. Compare your results to others.

There’s a Place for You in Engineering!

This lovely crest has been developed by Engineers Canada as part of their Engaging Girls program.  Their website reads:

Engineers Canada has developed and released a Girl Guides crest, to be presented to Girl Guides who complete engineering-related activities under the supervision of a professional engineer or an engineer-in-training. These activities—such as those that present an understanding of how vehicles work, the concept of simple machines, how lipstick is made, to name just a few—expose young girls to the engineering that can be found in everyday life and give them an understanding of how the world around them works.

Anyone interested in using the crest can contact Engineers Canada to confirm conditions of use and order required quantities.

If you have an engineer coming into your meeting to do a presentation to the girls, you may want to inquire about the crest.  Contact information in on the Engaging Girls page.