Exploring the Stars, 1st Seaforth Scouts and Cubs, February 28th, 2013

Cloudy skies greeted 20 visitors (15 children and youth and 5 adults) to the Cronyn Observatory for Exploring the Stars, Thursday, February 28th, 2013, 7:00 p.m. Graduate student Allison Hill made the digital slide presentation, “The Scout / Guide Astronomy Badge,” and answered questions.

RASC London Centre member Everett Clark arrived early and, since one of the young visitors was in a wheelchair, brought the London Centre’s 25.4cm Dobsonian downstairs and placed it beside the entrance to the lecture room. Following her presentation Allison divided the visitors into 2 groups and London Centre member Bob Duff set up the 25.4cm Dobsonian (17mm Nagler eyepiece, 66X) on the walkway outside the entrance to the Cronyn Observatory. While one group observed the red lights above the University’s Medical Sciences building to the north through the Dobsonian, Allison took the other group upstairs for a tour of the dome. Allison and Everett directed the 25.4cm refractor (32mm Erfle eyepiece, 137X) in the dome towards the lights on the communications tower in south London, affording nice views for the visitors. The 2 groups then switched with the visitors in the dome coming downstairs to look through the Dobsonian on the front walkway.

The boy in the wheelchair was not quite able to reach the eyepiece of the Dobsonian but nevertheless appreciated our efforts. Children and adults were amazed at how close the Dobsonian telescope seemed to bring the red lights on the Health Sciences building. Bringing the Dobsonian upstairs with the assistance of a Scout Leader, Bob showed them the weathervane on the roof of the Engineering building from the roof patio of the Observatory.

Allison finished up the evening by bringing everybody back downstairs into the lecture room where she demonstrated the sky charting software “Stellarium” and explored some astronomy sites on the Internet. Everybody was gone by around 9:00 p.m. after giving thanks for a very enjoyable evening of astronomy.

Bob Duff
Higher Education Liaison
RASC London Centre