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Solar System Cache - Earth
This site is the third in a series of Solar system geocaches hidden around Fredericton. Each cache represents a planet at the correct scale distance from the Sun. Start your journey among the planets by visiting City Hall and looking at the circle of water (in the summer) around the fountain. Imagine that our Sun was this big and Earth was as big as a baseball orbiting about 591 meters away.
Welcome to Science East, New Brunswick’s only hands-on science centre and a very popular place for the whole family. The science centre has been here for more than ten years but before Science East’s time this building used to be the York County Jail and as a result is a very historic site. The below information was taken from The York County Jail - A Brief Illustrated History by George MacBeath and Emelie Hubert which explains a bit about the building materials used in the construction of this building and their historical and geological significance.
At the time of construction a large granite quarry was being opened in Hampstead, about 25 kilometres south the village of Gagetown. Quarries there were developed at the urging of the famed Nova Scotian medical doctor, natural scientist and inventor of kerosene, Abraham Gesner, who undertook the first geological surveys of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The stone coming from the Hampstead Works was the first granite quarried in New Brunswick and was used to construct the building you are standing in front of.
If you walk around the jail, you can see that the front and side elevations are built of the grey-coloured Spoon Island Blue granite. This is an igneous rock, meaning that it was formed or crystallized from magma or molten rock deep inside the earth. The surrounding rock insulates the magma so that it cools slowly, resulting in the large crystals. The crystals are quartz (grey-clear), plagioclase feldspar (white) and an array of others, including micas (black flakes that can be scratched with a fingernail - if it can’t be scratched it is likely amphibole). Take some time to examine the rock and the various minerals which form it. The back of the building is not made of the same stone as the front and sides.
Granite was a preferred material here because of its durability and availability. It has many practical applications from building construction to curling rocks all because it is so resilient. More specifically, granite is used in construction and with monuments because it is resistant to acid rain which can deteriorate other types of rocks such as marble.
The Spoon Island Blue granite was hauled to barges and brought upriver to Fredericton in a day-long trip. The rough stone was carted to the construction site and cut and dressed there into large, plain building blocks. It is likely that prisoners worked as stonecutters.
To log your find you MUST email me the name the other rock used to construct the back of the building as well as its type (igneous, metamorphic or sedimentary).
You can optionally post a picture of yourself and your GPS in front of the building, close to the historic plaque that is mounted by the front steps. The complete series can be found at:
Mercury (visit link)
Venus (visit link)
Earth (visit link)
Mars (visit link)
Jupiter (visit link)
Saturn (visit link)
Uranus (visit link)
Neptune (visit link)
Pluto (visit link)
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Last Updated: on 6/15/2018 1:27:11 PM Pacific Daylight Time (8:27 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum