Cloudy skies greeted 18 visitors (12 children and 6 adults / leaders) from the 1st Lambeth Girl Guides for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Thursday, March 3rd, 2016, 6:30 p.m. Graduate student Dilini Subasinghe presented the digital slide presentation “Girl Guide Astronomy Badge” and fielded questions. Dilini followed this with the activity “Telescope Kits”, with the children assembling simple telescopes from small reusable kits.
RASC London Centre was represented by Everett Clark, Paul Kerans and Bob Duff. When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome, Bob gave a talk on the history of the Cronyn Observatory and some technical aspects of the big 25.4cm refractor. Bob also explained the Standard and Sidereal Time clocks on the east wall. Dilini rotated the dome to demonstrate how it worked but it remained closed due to cloudy skies and possible snow flurries. Paul showed them the wind turbine on the Engineering building through the London Centre’s 25.4cm dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) set up inside the dome door to the roof patio.
The visitors took 13 of the “Getting Started in Astronomy” (RASC, SkyNews ) pamphlets laid out by Everett beside the computer on the table in the dome. The visitors were gone by 8:30 p.m. after a very enjoyable evening learning about astronomy, despite the cloudy weather.