Clear skies, later clouding over, greeted 25 visitors from the 1st Ilderton Sparks, including 13 children and 12 adults, for Exploring the Stars at the Cronyn Observatory, Thursday, January 22nd, 2015, 6:00 p.m. Graduate student Parshati Patel made the digital slide presentation “The Guide Astronomy Badge” and followed this with the activity “Constellations” distributing 14 “Star Finder” plansipheres.
RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark, Tricia Colvin and Bob Duff. Astronomy 2021 student Mike Labiak was also there as a volunteer. Everett made ready the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome (18mm Radian eyepiece, 244X) and directed it towards the 2-day-old crescent Moon in the southwest, but it was soon obscured by clouds. Bob set up the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) on the roof patio outside the dome and directed it towards the wind turbine on the nearby Engineering building to the south.
When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome, Bob gave a talk on the history of the Cronyn Observatory and technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor. He also explained the Standard and Sidereal Time clocks on the east wall. Since the sky was clouded out, Bob supervised as children and adults viewed the wind turbine on the nearby Engineering building through the 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) set up on the roof patio outside the dome.
After everybody had returned downstairs to the lecture room, Parshati spent some time answering questions. The visitors were gone by around 7:30 p.m. after a very enjoyable evening of astronomy despite the sky clouding over.