Exploring the Stars, 1st Salford Cubs, November 23rd, 2015

Mostly cloudy skies with some hazy clearing later in the evening greeted 41 visitors (21 children and 20 adults) from the 1st Salford Cubs for Exploring the Stars at Western University’s Cronyn Observatory, Monday, November 23rd, 2015, 6:30 p.m. Graduate student Dilini Subasinghe presented the digital slide presentation “Cub Scout Astronomy Badge” and fielded questions. Dilini followed this with the activity “Constellations” distributing 40 “Star Finder” planispheres to the group and helping everybody assemble them with transparent adhesive tape. She then showed them the slide “Reading a Star Finder”, followed by 3 constellations slides, to help them practice using the planispheres.

RASC London Centre member Bob Duff made ready the big 25.4cm refractor in the dome and set up the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian on the roof patio and directed both telescopes towards the 2-day-prior-to-full gibbous Moon. When everybody arrived upstairs in the dome, Bob gave a brief talk on the history of the Cronyn Observatory and some technical aspects of big 25.4cm refractor. He then began showing visitors the Moon through the 25.4cm refractor (32mm Erfle eyepiece, 137X). Dilini soon arrived in the dome and took over supervising as the visitors viewing the Moon through the 25.4cm refractor. Bob advised everybody to split into 2 groups, with one group going outside to view through the 25.4cm Dobsonian and eventually both groups had the opportunity to view through each telescope. Bob supervised as visitors viewed the Moon through the 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mmNagler eyepiece, 66X) on the roof patio.

Several adult visitors asked Dilini about the Standard and Sidereal Time clocks on the east wall. The Moon appeared in and out of the clouds until the clouds mostly cleared later in the evening for a reasonably good view. Everybody was gone by around 7:55 p.m. after a very enjoyable evening of astronomy.