Exploring the Stars, 120th, London Brownies, February 28th, 2017

Cloudy skies greeted 22 visitors (15 children and 7 adults / leaders) from the 120th London Brownies for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Tuesday, February 28th, 2017, 6:00 p.m. Graduate student Kendra Kellogg presented the digital slide presentation “Life in the Universe” and fielded questions. Kendra followed this with the activity “Telescope Kits” with the Brownies assembling and testing simple telescopes from small reusable kits.

RASC London Centre was represented by Paul Kerans and Bob Duff. Cloudy damp weather ruled out opening the dome. Kendra gave them a brief tour of the big 25.4 cm refractor in the dome, using the 32mm Erfle eyepiece (137X) for demonstration. Kendra also explained the difference between a refractor and a reflector telescope. Paul had set up the London Centre’s home-built 30.5cm Dobsonian (26mm Tele Vue Plossl eyepiece, 58X) reflector telescope on the roof patio outside the dome and Bob supervised as the Brownies viewed a red light on the construction crane behind the Engineering building.

Paul showed the visitors his chondrite (stony) and iron meteorites as well as his Moon and Mars meteorite samples in small plastic display cases. Paul had placed his lunar meteorite sample display case in a wooden block with a transparent Lexan polycarbonate sheet cover and all the children were invited to “walk on the Moon.”Paul also distributed 17 “Star Finder” planispheres to the Brownies and their leaders. The visitors were gone by around 7:45 p.m. after an enjoyable evening learning about astronomy and telescopes.