Exploring the Stars, 1st Kerwood Scouts, January 17th, 2017

Cloudy skies with rainy weather greeted 8 visitors (4 children and 4 adults / leaders) from the 1st Kerwood Scouts for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Tuesday, January 17th, 2017, 6:00 p.m. They were welcomed by graduate students Kendra Kellogg and Viraja Khatu. Kendra presented the digital slide presentation “Life in the Universe” and fielded questions. Kendra and Viraja followed this with the activity “Telescope Kits” with the Scouts assembling and testing simple telescopes from small reusable kits.

RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark, Paul Kerans and Bob Duff. Cloudy rainy weather ruled out opening the dome. When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome, Bob gave a talk on the history of the Cronyn Observatory and some of the technical aspects of the big refractor, using the 32mm Erfle eyepiece for demonstration. Bob pointed out the Schmidt camera and Cassegrain reflector telescope piggybacked on the big 25.4cm refractor and explained the difference between and refractor and reflector telescope, as Paul showed them the mirror in the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian. Bob also explained the Standard and Sidereal Time clocks on the east wall.

Everett and Paul had set up the observatory’s 8-inch (20.3cm) Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain (26mm Plossl eyepiece, 77X) and the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) inside the dome door so as to view the gauges on compressed gas canisters visible in an Engineering building window and the red light on a construction crane, respectively.

The visitors were delighted with the opportunity to view through amateur telescopes, despite the cloudy rainy weather. Paul showed them his chondrite (stony) and iron meteorites. The visitors were gone by around 7:23 p.m. after and enjoyable evening learning about astronomy and telescopes.