Exploring the Stars, 10th London Sparks & Brownies, March 21st, 2016

Clear skies greeted 29 visitors (14 children and 15 adults) from the 10th London Sparks and Brownies for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Monday, March 21st, 2016, 6:00 p.m. Graduate student Kendra Kellogg made the digital slide presentation “Sparks and Brownies Astronomy Badge” and fielded questions. Kendra followed this with the activity “Kitchen Comet”, making a comet from dry ice and other materials on a table set up at the front of the lecture room.

RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark and Paul Kerans, with Bob Duff arriving later around 7:27 p.m. When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome, Paul gave a brief talk on some of the history of the Cronyn Observatory and explained how the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome and the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian reflector telescopes worked. He also pointed out the Schmidt camera and Cassegrain reflector telescope piggy-backed on the big 25.4cm refractor.

Everett directed the big 25.4cm refractor (28mm Meade Super Wide Angle eyepiece, 157X) towards the 2-day-prior-to-full gibbous Moon in the eastern sky. Kendra sat down at the top of the observing ladder and supervised as children and adults climbed the steps to view the Moon through the big 25.4cm refractor. On the roof patio outside the dome Paul showed the visitors the Moon and later Jupiter through the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X). The visitors were gone by around 8:00 p.m. after an enjoyable evening of astronomy.