Boys & Girls Club of London, Solar Observing at the Cronyn Observatory, July 28th, 2017

Partly cloudy skies with hazy clouds greeted 32 visitors (28 children and 4 staff members) from the Boys & Girls Club of London for solar observing at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Friday, July 28th, 2017, 11:00 a.m. They were welcomed by graduate student Dilini Subasinghe who brought them downstairs into the “Black Room,” where she showed them the “Transit Demo” model—demonstrating the transit detection method for finding extra-solar planets—and the “Spectroscopy Demo,” inviting the visitors to put on diffraction grating glasses and view the spectra of 4 gas discharge lamps set up on the table, including: hydrogen, helium, neon and mercury.

RASC London Centre was represented by Heather MacIsaac and Bob Duff. When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome, Bob gave a talk on the observatory and technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor. He also explained the Cassegrain reflector telescope and Schmidt camera piggy-backed on the main telescope. The children were then divided into 3 groups to view through the 3 telescopes set up on the observation deck.

Dilini helped the children view the Sun through the observatory’s 90mm Coronado H-Alpha Solar Telescope (CEMAX 12mm eyepiece, 44X), set up on the Sky-Watcher EQ mount, while Heather showed them the Sun through her Celestron NexStar 90SLT 90mm Maksutov-Cassegrain (32mm Plossl eyepiece, 39X), fitted with a Kendrick Baader film solar filter. Bob showed them the Sun through the observatory’s Meade 8-inch (20.3cm) Schmidt-Cassegrain (20mm Plossl eyepiece, 100X) fitted with a Kendrick Baader film solar filter. The Sun was somewhat obscured by hazy clouds and no sunspots were visible.

Heather gave one of the Boys & Girls Club of London staff members 28 of the observatory’s solar eclipse glasses for her to distribute to the group. Everybody was gone by 11:55 a.m. after an interesting and enjoyable observatory tour and opportunity to view the Sun through solar filtered telescopes.