Exploring the Stars, 1st Ilderton Beavers, February 16th, 2017

Clear skies greeted 33 visitors (18 children and 15 adults / leaders) from the 1st Ilderton Beavers for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Thursday, February 16th, 2017, 6:30 p.m. Graduate student Viraja Khatu presented the digital slide presentation “Constellations” and fielded questions. Viraja followed this with the activity “Make Your Own Constellation / Constellation Detective” which involved the children drawing and naming their own constellations by connecting patterns of black dots representing stars on 2 white laminated sheets, using magic markers.

RASC London Centre was represented by Paul Kerans and Bob Duff. When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome, Bob gave a brief talk on the history of the Cronyn Observatory and some of the technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor. At Bob’s suggestion the visitors divided into 2 groups with one group lining up to view through the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome and the other joining Paul on the roof patio to view through the London Centre’s home-built 30.5cm Dobsonian. The 2 groups later traded places so that everybody had the opportunity to view through both telescopes.

Bob supervised in the dome as the Beaver and adults viewed the plant Venus, which appeared as a nice crescent, through the 25.cm refractor (28mm Meade Super Wide Angle eyepiece, 157X). Paul showed them the Orion Nebula (M42) through the home-built 30.5cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 88X). The visitors were gone by around 7:40 p.m. after a very enjoyable evening of astronomy under clear skies.