Exploring the Stars, 110th London Girl Guides, January 8th, 2013

Clear, hazy skies greeted the 110th London Girl Guides at the Cronyn Observatory for Exploring the Stars on Tuesday, January 8th, 2013, 7:00 p.m. Graduate student Allison Hill involved some early arrivals with a drawing the solar system with crayons activity.

After most of the group had arrived she began the digital slide presentation, “The Scout / Guide Astronomy Badge,” before 24 visitors (18 children and 6 adults). One more Guide arrived midway through the presentation and, later, 4 adults arrived, bringing the total to 19 children and 10 adults. If we add a couple more adults who arrived towards the end of the evening and looked through telescopes we might bring the total to 31 visitors (19 children and 12 adults).

Bringing the group upstairs into the dome, Allison distributed “Star Finder” planispheres, and showed the Guides how to use them, pointing out constellations on the roof patio. In all, 33 “Star Finder” were distributed, including 10 to the Guide Leader for those not present.

RASC London Centre member Everett Clark and Bob Duff showed them Jupiter through the 25.4cm refractor (28mm Meade Super Wide Angle eyepiece, 157X) and 25.4cm Dobsonian (6mm Ortho eyepiece, 186X), respectively. Bob also showed them the Orion Nebula (M42), in the Dobsonian, using the 17mm Nagler eyepiece (66X), at first without and then with the Orion Nebular Filter—which enhanced contrast and gave the nebula and stars a green colour. Bob pointed out some stars and constellations with his green laser pointer. Also present was another astronomy graduate student, Ted Rudyk, who assisted with the big refractor in the dome.

Allison took the group downstairs for a second slide presentation, “Alien life in the Universe.” Parents began arriving to pick their children around 8:30 p.m., some coming into the dome and out on the roof patio to look through telescopes. Everybody was gone by 8:45 p.m. after a very enjoyable evening of astronomy.

Bob Duff
Higher Education Liaison
RASC London Centre