A clear sky greeted 27 visitors (14 children and 13 adults) from the 10th London Sparks and Brownies, for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Monday, February 26th, 2018, 6:00 p.m. Graduate student Amanda DeSouza presented the digital slide presentation “Our Solar System” and fielded questions. Amanda followed this with the activity “Kitchen Comet” making a comet from dry ice and other materials.
RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark and Bob Duff. Everett made ready the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome, at first installing the 17mm Nagler eyepiece (258X). Everett also set up the London Centre’s home-built 30.5cm Dobsonian (Meade 28mm Super Wide Angle eyepiece, 54X) on the observation deck. Bob gave a brief telescope talk when everybody arrived upstairs in the dome and then invited the visitors to divide into 2 groups and alternate between viewing the 3-day-past-first quarter Moon through the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome and the 30.5cm Dobsonian on the observation deck.
Everett supervised observing through the 25.4cm refractor and began by swapping in the 32mm Erfle eyepiece (137X) for a better view the Moon, and later showed them Alnilam (Epsilon Orionis), which is the middle star in Orion’s Belt, and then the double star Castor. Bob showed them the Moon and the Orion Nebula (M42) through the 30.5cm Dobsonian (Meade 28mm SWA eyepiece, 54X). The visitors were gone by around 8:00 p.m. after a very enjoyable evening of astronomy under a clear sky.