Exploring the Stars, 1st Salford Cubs, January 17th, 2013

Cloudy skies greeted 43 visitors (28 children and 15 adults) from the 1st Salford Cubs on Thursday, January 17th, 2013, 6:45 p.m. They were welcomed by graduate students Emily McCullough and Parshati Patel. Emily made her digital slide presentation, “Cubs and Scouts Astronomy Badge,” using the space simulation program, “Celestia,” at several points throughout to demonstrate some aspects of the solar system.

Bringing the group upstairs, Emily and Parshati showed them the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome and they also looked at the RASC London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian. It stopped snowing long enough to open the dome and rotate it before closing it again. RASC London Centre member Everett Clark set up the 25.4cm Dobsonian, with the 17mm Nagler (66X) eyepiece, on the Observatory’s roof patio, when it wasn’t snowing, and showed visitors the weathervane on the Engineering Building. They also showed the visitors the communications tower in south London through the 25.4cm refractor, using the same 17mm Nagler (258X) eyepiece.

While in the dome Emily distributed 43 “Star Finder” planispheres and had the group practice using them. Emily had them do some “imaginary astronomy” where she pointed out where things were in the sky relative to where they were on the planisphere. Parshati led a question and answer session with the group as well, and fielded some great questions. The evening was over by 8:45 p.m. and, despite the cold and the cloudy sky, the group seemed enthusiastic about astronomy.

Bob Duff
Higher Education Liaison
RASC London Centre